Internet Passes Quietly Into Private Hands
By Reid Kanaley
November 3, 1994
Sprint Corp. and three other firms Tuesday took over management of a large gateway into the Internet from the National Science Foundation. The transfer marked the government's phenomenal success in building the information superhighway.
A key step to privatizing the global computer network passed without fanfare inside a squat concrete building in Pennsauken, N.J. There, Sprint activated a computer interchange, called a network access point (NAP), where separate computer networks can link together to exchange electronic mail and other data.
Over the next five months, the four private NAPs will take over computer traffic now channeled through a system of telephone cables, called NSFnet, that serves as a conduit into the Internet for about 2,000 universities and research institutions.
The network, built and nurtured with an estimated $121 million in federal funds, was in many ways a victim of its own success.