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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

The National Research and Education Network (NREN) is a government sponsored network to consolidate the many regional, national, and international networks that currently exist. A unique aspect of this network is that it is planned to provide communication facilities not only to scientists and faculty, but to the general public as well. Cooperation of industry and the Federal government is of critical importance in this venture since the initial financial outlay for startup will be enormous. The NREN has been partially implemented through NSFNET. Government legislation has been proposed, but not yet fully implemented to provide funding for this project. The federal government has not yet provided an organized plan for the NREN, but has created objectives for the network and has labelled this agenda the National Information Infrastructure. Many uses exist for the NREN. Distance learning, cooperative research, life-long learning, and easier access to information are only the beginning. As more people use the network, additional uses will be discovered. Information Systems educators have a chance to introduce their students to the vast amount of information available through the international system of networks and to instruct them in the use of this technology. Educators need to do their part to encourage legislators to support this endeavor. Educating the public and making their voices heard will help to ensure that the future will bring the kind of information highways needed for the 21st century.

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