Some good initial response from Cisco and Sun. I'm hoping to meet next week with John Morgridge from Cisco and Eric Schmidt from Sun to see if they can be talked into focusing their demo and prototype efforts into something real.
By the way, O'Reilly & Associates agreed to throw in some people, and I bet we can get a few more from other places (e.g., TGV would be a good bet ;). If we can combine the resources of the computer companies and telcos with some labor that can do something real with the resources, I think we can have a real winner.
What seems like a real possibility is to get enough resources to do a serious infrastructure in a half-dozen cities. Each city might consist of a large server (e.g., NCSA, Sunsite), a bunch of information providers such as public radio stations, plus a core group of users starting in the libraries and public schools. Kind of a public park for the Internet, a well-managed infrastructure that forms a core set of services in a community.
What do you think of "The Commons" as a name for the project?
What I'm trying to figure out now is the level of committment to giving things. Cisco tossed out a number of "250 schools." Do they really want to give 250 routers (+ another 100+ for a supporting infrastructure)? When Sun talks "terabyte servers" do they understand that means a 16-Sparc box with 5 full fiber channel disk arrays?
I'll keep you posted.