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Shooting at an OPEN NET

#1 VoIP Blogger Andy Abramson is calling for the creation of an Open NET initiative.  He’d like to see institutions, like corporations, universities, and public institutions open up their networks for public permitted access.  He wants to see limited public access available outside the corporate firewall.

Great idea!

In practice, many corporations already do this, and more and more are on the road to doing it.  In February of this year, for example, on my visits to the money people on Sand Hill Road, I discovered that most VC firms didn’t provide network access.  I bought a Verizon EVDO kit, and resolved that issue. However, by August, many of the same firms had guest access available.  And, in fact, while visiting AOL last week, I discovered that they also had public access (via a wired LAN) available.

Problematic, however, is the way that many firewalls restrict access to key services.  For instance, while at AOL it was impossible for me to use the VPN to our offices.  Those ports are blocked.  Andy’s proposal to unblock all services on the guest network is really the meat.  Do that at corporations, universities, public institutions, and hotels (especially hotels!!!), and the nature of public network access would change.

It all depends, however, on the largesse of those business owners.

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