On December 9, 1991, the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 (HPCA) authored by then Senator Al Gore was passed. To most folks this will probably mean nothing, but to us Netizens it should mean a lot. The far reaching effect of this Bill was that it helped spur the entity known as “The Internet”.
Chief provisions of the bill called for the establishment of the “National Information Infrastructure” or as Vice Pres. Al Gore dubbed it: The Information Superhighway.
The Bill allotted funding for the development of an:
Advanced, seamless web of public and private communications networks, interactive services, interoperable hardware and software, computers, databases, and consumer electronics to put vast amounts of information at users’ fingertips.[source]
Aside from that, one of the most important contributions of that Bill was the first Web Browser that was developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. More popularly known as the Mosaic Web Browser. The web browser made it easier for common folks to manipulate and access the data that the information superhighway provided. It was definitely one of the most paradigm shifting inventions made by man that changed his way of life.
And with that, it helped launch a new batch of Information Technology Millionaires to carry on the pioneering efforts of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Paul Allen during the PC Era of the 80’s, as well as raise IT to the next step in its evolution.
The dark side of this bill is that it also helped turn a lot of folks into Internet junkies who are in dire need of some “offline” time from their Internet addiction. It also helped launch the careers of a Million Internet Scammers and Spammers.