Today marks the anniversary of the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 (HPCA) or Gore Bill as it is commonly referred to, having been the creation of Senator and Vice President Al Gore, with the purpose to ensure the United States maintained their leadership in high-performance computing, through a coordinated Federal Programme.
Gore is noted by many, including internet pioneers Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, for his significant contribution in supporting the development of the internet, with Gore recognising very early on the potential impact the internet could have, and the wide-ranging educational and economic benefits it could bring, and influenced by a report by Leonard Kleinrock, a member of the team who created the ARPANET.
The passing of the bill would result in the establishment of the National Information Infrastructure (NII), also known as the Information Superhighway. In addition to the NII, the HPCA also provided the essential funding for a National Research and Education Network (NREN).
Following the promulgation of the Act, the impact on the development of technological advances would be vast, and see the creation in 1993 of the Mosaic web browser, following the Bill’s funding of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Marc Andreessen, Founder of Netscape, was part of the team working at the University of Illinois and Andreessen would later conclude that left to the private sector, it would have taken years to achieve the results seen following the Gore Bill’s implementation.
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