Graduate studies at Western
Ethics and Information Technology 2 (4):211-221 (2001)
|Abstract||Before there was the digital divide there was the analog divide– and universal service was the attempt to close that analogdivide. Universal service is becoming ever more complex in terms ofregulatory design as it becomes the digital divide. In order to evaluatethe promise of the next generation Internet with respect to the digitaldivide this work looks backwards as well as forwards in time. Byevaluating why previous universal service mechanisms failed andsucceeded this work identifies specific characteristics ofcommunications systems – in particular in billing and managinguncertainty – and argues that these characteristics underliesuccess or failure in terms of technological ubiquity. Developing a setof characteristics of services rather than a set of services is afundamental break with the tradition of universal service. In fact, theimplications of our proposal is that basic characteristics in theoffering of the service rather than the absolute price are critical toclose the digital divide: certainty of total charge, ability to avoiddeposits or disconnection via best effort service, and payer-basedcontrol of all charges. While all of these principles sound obvious infact none of these hold in the telephony network. Universal service hasevolved from common carriage (serve all with no discrimination) to aright to basic services (100% penetration). Universal service isnow discussed as the digital divide, as the access to information asopposed to services becomes increasingly critical. However, we arediscussing in this paper access to the bits and the network rather thanaccess to the information (or intellectual property) once connected. Theprovision of universal service is seen as a technical problem only in thatthe technology costs money – universal service debates have longbeen the domain of economists. Yet the design of protocols has been thedomain of engineers, the building of systems the corporate domain, andthe discussion of equity the interest of ethicists. The design ofprotocols can define the parameters of the corporate decision-makers,the variables of the economist, and the questions for the ethicist. Thedesign decisions made at the fundamental levels can make communicationsequity more or less likely. In this work I focus on the design ofprotocols for the next generation Internet, protocols which willfundamentally change the best-effort nature of Internet services.Building on the economic and ethnographic work of others I argue thatthe effects of protocols adoption on universal service can be predictedto some degree. By examination of past and current technologies Iexamine a set of technical mechanisms to determine how such mechanismsmight harm or enhance universal service. I define each mechanism (e.g.denial of entry) and offer observations about each particularmechanism''s implicit pricing assumptions. I close with a discussion ofinterest to ethicists and regulators on evaluating communicationsprotocols with respect to universal access. Protocols for developingmultiple qualities of service for packet-switched networks have focusedon economic efficiency (e.g. Mackie-Mason, 1995; Choi, Stahl &Winston, 1997; Shapiro & Varian, 1998), billing to encouragewidespread adoption of network innovations (e.g. Xie & Sirbu, 1985)and billing in a manner consistent with the underlying network (e.g.Clark, 1996). Here we examine a set of protocols which include varyingquality of service mechanisms with respect to the compatibility of theprotocols with universal access.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Gina Vega & Mary Ann McHugh (2003). “What Button Do I Press?” The Consequences of Conducting a Service Learning Project with Senior Citizens. Journal of Academic Ethics 1 (1):91-117.
Arash Golnam, Gil Regev & Alain Wegmann, A Modeling Framework for Analyzing the Viability of Service Systems.
Judith A. Boss (1994). The Effect of Community Service Work on the Moral Development of College Ethics Students. Journal of Moral Education 23 (2):183-198.
Keith Morton & Marie Troppe (1996). From the Margin to the Mainstream: Campus Compact's Project on Integrating Service with Academic Study. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 15 (1):21 - 32.
Theodora Varvarigou & Vassiliki Andronikou (2009). Identity Management in GRID Computing and Service Oriented Architectures: Research and Practice. [REVIEW] Identity in the Information Society 2 (2):95-98.
Zuzana Deans (2013). Conscientious Objections in Pharmacy Practice in Great Britain. Bioethics 27 (1):48-57.
H. M. Geibel (2006). In Defense of Service Learning. Teaching Philosophy 29 (2):93-109.
Matteo Gaeta, Juergen Jaehnert, Kleopatra Konstanteli, Sergio Miranda, Pierluigi Ritrovato & Theodora Varvarigou (2009). Federated Identity Management in Mobile Dynamic Virtual Organizations. Identity in the Information Society 2 (2):115-136.
Laurent Bussard, Anna Nano & Ulrich Pinsdorf (2009). Delegation of Access Rights in Multi-Domain Service Compositions. Identity in the Information Society 2 (2):137-154.
Colin G. Drury (2003). Service, Quality and Human Factors. AI and Society 17 (2):78-96.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #246,863 of 740,724 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?