Alice M. Fisher

This Question/Discussion is now closed. Sorry for the delay, the holidays are upon us/me.
And, I lead with that opening line, I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season.

Now, for a very long winded attempt at an answer. Well, it seems from my limited perspective here on my side of my humble fence that David gave the best overall answer and definition generally speaking. It also appears to me that the Internet as we have known ii is begining to continue to evolve with a growing “agenda”, which is revealed at the end of this mini dissertation….bear with me please until the end with item number 6 below.

Upper case (“I”nternet) The Internet is largest network in the world. It is made up of more than 350 million computers in more than 100 countries covering commercial, academic and government endeavors. Today, the “Net” has become commercialized into a worldwide information highway, providing data and commentary and products on every subject and product on earth. The term originated as a determiner, a shorthand for internetworking, and is mostly used in this way in RFCs, the documentation for the evolving Internet Protocol (IP) standards for internetworking between ARPANET and other computer networks in the 1970s. As the impetus behind IP grew, it became more common to regard the results of internetworking as entities of their own, and internet became a noun, used both in a generic sense (any collection of computer networks connected through internetworking) and in a specific sense (the collection of computer networks that internetworked with ARPANET, and later NSFNET, using the IP standards, and that grew into the connectivity service we know today). In its generic sense, internet is a common noun, a synonym for internetwork; therefore, it has a plural form (first appearing in RFC 870 and RFC 872), and is not to be capitalized.

In its specific sense, it is a proper noun, and therefore, with article, without a plural form, and with capitalization.

As Internet connectivity grew more popular, it became known as a service, similar to TV, radio, and telephone, and the word came to be used in this way (e.g. “I have Internet at home” and “I saw it on (the) Internet”). For this type of use, English spelling and grammar do not prescribe whether the article or capitalization are to be used, which explains the inconsistency that exists in practice.

Many newspapers, newswires, periodicals, and technical journals capitalize the term (Internet). Examples include The Dhaka Daily Star, The New York Times, the Associated Press, Time, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and Communications of the ACM.

Other publications do not capitalize the term, including The Economist, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Wired News; this appears to be more popular outside North America.

Here is some examples from an historical perspective on the “shift” from I vs i.

1) Since 2000, a significant number of publications have switched to using internet. Among them are The Economist, the Financial Times, The Times (of London), and the Sydney Morning Herald.

2) 2002 we see some readings about its discussion such as this location
A professor is working on changing the common practice so that internet is spelled with a lower case “i”. I think it looks silly with the capitalized I. He thinks that it suggests that the “Internet” is a brand owned by a company. A lower case internet suggests it’s just a thing owned by everyone in the world. is it world or the World?

3) Here is another perspective from 2003, which I personally liked, but again it is more about grammar and not the why behind to move/shift http://www.zenhaiku.com/archives/should_internet_be_lower_case.html

3) As of 2005, most publications using “internet” appear to be located outside of North America although one American news source, Wired News, has adopted the lowercase spelling. Here is what Wired News Editor’s explanation for the decision: http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2004/08/64596

4) Other thinking seen in 2006, decentralization of the Internet? http://shiranpasternak.com/blog/category/internet

5) Some grammatical thoughts of “its” commonessness resurface from a copywriting stand point and prevail into 2007.

6) fast foward, there may be a movement to make Internet a lowercased internet because….?
What is the point? the purpose? Is it commercialization? Decentralization?
Or is it to make the Internet more like global electric service/gas services, which all can be regulated, with additional tarrifs, fees and taxes?
a new world order, so to speak? Notice I have purposely added no capitalizations there. Let’s read on, a bit further.

Shannon (2006) in International Herald Tribune reports that with “internet” (with lower case “i”) International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations agency, wants to lower-case the word Internet as a matter of official policy so that it could take over the governance of Internet. She reported then in 2006, that some of the 2,100 participants at the union’s highest-level strategy meeting, which convened for three weeks in November 2006 in Antalya, Turkey, “saw the move as the latest in a long-running effort by the organization to control the Internet, this time through a subtle yet symbolic imprint on the most powerful communications and commercial tool of the 21st century.” (ibid.). Yoshio Utsumi, who turns over his office as secretary general of the agency to Touré in January, had called the Internet a “utility” to be managed for the public good (ibid.).

Here is the website link to ITU mission and vision. http://www.itu.int/net/about/vision.aspx
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies. As the global focal point for governments and the private sector, ITU’s role in connecting the world spans 3 core sectors: radiocommunication, standardization and development. As well as the TELECOM events, ITU was the lead organizing agency of the World Summit on the Information Society. ITU Membership includes:

191 Member States
some 650 telcom/Internet Sector Members

Please scroll down and see just how many USA companies are participating in this subtle movement under the heading of
Etats-Unis – United States – Estados Unidos. If you belong to the United Nations, you can belong to ITU.

Backgrounder from a ITU 1995 press release:
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was founded in 1865, and as such is the oldest inter-governmental organization. In 1947, it became a specialized agency of the United Nations and has a membership of 184 countries, as well as a number of industry and government organizations. It is the international organization responsible for the regulation and planning of telecommunications worldwide, for the establishment of equipment and systems operating standards, for the coordination and dissemination of information required for the planning and operation of telecommunications services and for the promotion of and contribution to the development of telecommunications and the related infrastructures within the United Nations system.

in 2001, regulatory discussions started and noted in a 2001 press release

“There was also a call for more case studies from stakeholders in the regulatory process, including private sector vendors, operators and investment banks, on their experiences with regulation. Overwhelmingly, regulators called for regional sub-groupings and regional aggregation of expertise to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of individual regulators’ decisions”

The most recent past Bio of the most recent past ITU official

Please read this source: An Internet/Telcom/Mobile Media speech from 1999 from Utsumi


I quote in part;
“But this picture is changing. Revenue generated from domestic and international fixed-line services reached a peak shortly after TELECOM 95, and have subsequently been in decline. By the time of TELECOM 2003, they will contribute less than half of the total. Indeed, were it not for the continuing growth of the Internet and especially of mobile cellular, the industry as a whole would be shrinking rather than growing in value.”

Any additional thoughts on the global shift?
If so, maybe a new question of the week could stem from this?

Thanks so much for everyones input on this question.
I now pass the Internet Torch back to Dr. D.C Misra.

Alice Fisher