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To Bangkok Conference programme

65th IFLA Council and General

Bangkok, Thailand,
August 20 - August 28, 1999

Code Number: 014-129_E
Division Number: VIII
Professional Group: Regional Section: Asia and Oceania
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 129
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

Internet: contribution to Asia and Oceania information resources' construction

Liu Luyin
Renmin University Library
Beijing, China


Internet is exerting a tremendous influence to our lives. There are three stages in the developing of Internet in Asia and Oceania. And there are some problems in using Internet. This paper discuss about these questions.


1. Development and Present Situation of Internet

Internet is the biggest, open and inter-connected computer network in the world. In1967, sponsored by American "Advanced Research Project Agency"------a military administration, a project ------the Internetting Project (in short "internet"), was carried out. To meet the research requirements, 4 computer sets were linked together and named "ARPA network", trying to find a way to supply normal communications in case some computer were damaged. During the research, an agreement had been reached ------TCP/IP AGREEMENT, to stipulate the standards and rules that made it possible to allow dependable data exchange among inter-connected computers. Thanks to this agreement, computers made by different producers of different sizes and models could be joined with.

Due to the successful TCP/IP AGREENEBNT, the quantity of computer increased rapidly. In mid 1970s,computers on network had spread to west Europe and Japan. In late 1970s,universities and research institutes of US began to apply to get enrolled in the Internet, resulted in district net being linked together with country network to form a larger internet. In mid 1980s,Ametican NSF set up a computer network that made all the computers and scientists of US connected together------NSF NETWORK, under the TIP/IP AGREENENT. In late 1980s and early 1990s,sponsored by US government and NSF, several large firms re-set up the above mentioned Internet. As a result of limitation lessening to get enrolled in the network, more and more computer networks all over the world joined the network to consume the information resources. So, the main computer network of the present using Internet came out.

Internet has swept across the world. At present Internet has spread in 170 countries, linking 60,000 computer networks, with 15 million computer sets and 100 million users, becoming the largest computer network, and 500 million consumers are predicted by 2000.

By now, not only applied in science and education, Internet has also been used as a network of trading, entertainment, advertisement, publishing and news. It supplies text information, drawings and pictures, images, even audio and cartoon information. With the functions of www, E-mail, discussion group, and document transmission agreement, internet has been widely utilized in all respects in human activities, playing an important role in promoting scientific research, economy growth, and human civilization, and also has become the engine of information industry development.

From the beginning of 1990s, Internet experienced a flourishing growth, with Europe and America developed the fastest, Asia and Oceania area came next by 3 steps:

1.1 E-mail Using stage

(1980s) The characteristics of it are applying of long-distance network in some areas, mainly to undertake transmitting of E-mails. The huge function of Internet had not been developed yet, just used in a limited extent.

1.2 Network Growing Stage

(early 1990s) Following US "Information High Way" plan, Asia and Oceania countries posed their own information network construction plans.

From 1993-1995, Japan invested JP¥50 billion to construct high speed research information network, i.e. information communication research network,to link 30 dominant research institutes together, in order to put super computer and research database under united government administrations` control, that will help to improve utilization efficiency.

Singapore invested $1.25 billion to lay down a cable of 16,000 kilometer's long, linking the communication network, computer database and consumer electric equipment, setting up 3 systems------TRADENT, MEDINET and LAWNET.

Besides Australia, other Asia and Oceania countries have also set up their own information networks. The foundation, inter-connecting and operation of the "information high ways" will certainly influence the competition advantages of different counties, also the banking service's globalization and information networking, even the global economic prospect.

1.3 Commercial Utilization Stage

(mid 1990s) As the internet grows, there comes many new business chances and new job opportunities, which changed people's daily life deeply.

2. Influence of Internet to Asia and Oceania

2.1 To Science and Technology Exchanging

Internet has changed the ways of science and technology communicating, the face-to-face discussion is no longer the only fashion. In the past, due to lack of fund and limitations of location, scientific exchanging could not be done in a large extent. Now, Internet offers the possibilities, such as network-meeting, to utilize the foreign advance technology. Internet has liberated the information transmitting methods between research fellows of different places.

As the industry revolution and construction of high way, the utilization of high-speed computer network has greatly speeded up the information transmitting rate and increased the transmitting volume, overcoming the backwards of time, location, nationality and language. More developed the Internet in a region, more effective the information transferred, and more dominant position it holds in the international competition.

The Internet popularization opened a new field of international co-operations. With the function the internet offers, by means of netting communications, scientists and specialists all over the world could carry out a same project research while they stay where they are, quickly responding to all problems and exchanging messages at the time being, that will lead to full utilization of human knowledge and occupational skills.

2.2 To "Network Economy"

At the end of this century, the booming of global Internet brought out the "network economy". The developing of technology, also the sales and marketing, specialized service, education and training, that related to Internet. The network economy model is already on its way world wide quietly.

There are 3 reasons why the network economy is booming: the first is short returning time of investment; the second, by ways of net technology, links of production and segments of demand and supply have been reduced, resulting in cost cutting down; the third is high technical content of information.

Rising of network economy not only promoted the speeding up of itself in the world, but also led to "global network economic circle". Conventional agriculture and industry are bound to earth, influenced by boundary and settlement. The settling economy could not live without earth, all kind of fund are invested to ground, even real estate is over-invested. Net economy will lessen restraint of land, boundary and business customs, so as to set up a "moving economic circle" in global network. Although network economy is still a new concept, it has clearly showed us the economic form of 21st century.

As a new respect, network economy is a favorable opportunity of Asia and Oceania countries to spring up their economic positions.

2.3 To Education

The education fashion has also changed by Internet. Going to school is still an important conventional education style, but by means of Internet, far-distance education has been changing education ways. Education content is more and more rich, and the concept of educating has been changed, too. A new kind of Internet school, library, even electronic campus, will substitute the present school pattern. The old concentrated education will be replaced by scattering net education model, and the old "teaching" education will be changed into "exchanging" education.

Especially to developing countries, education investment is not able to meet the demand, internet is an economical way to improve the situation. Remote places far away from higher institutions can receive education through Internet, to improve national education level and quality.

2.4 Influence of Internet to China:

Internet develops quickly in China. Its features include: Internet is used wider in bigcities than in small cities,such as Beijing,Shanghai and Guangzhou.·It is widely used in universities and science reach institutes.Citizen use it less time,but now more and more people look for information through Internet.¸ University libraries resources develop fast.¹ The main strength of contructing China Internet is from official.

3. Present problems of Internet construction in Asia and Oceania countries

3.1 The information of the US and other developed countries dominates the Internet while there is much less information of developing countries

There are all kinds of information in the Internet, mostly of America and other developed countries, very little of Asia and Oceania. It needs to develop local network information resources, especially of regional cultural background, to protect and foster regional culture and characteristics.

After the cold war, the world has come into a multi-power time. Each civilization has its own position in the world. Located in east Asia, China is building up socialism of her own characteristics, while carrying on her ancient culture. It needs equal conversation and exchange between different civilizations. All sorts of culture formed in history, their values belong to all human race. The coming of information time will break the boundaries of many things, which will be consumed by all people. In 21st century, the communications and interchange of different cultures will make people closer in space and soul. Without one's own features in net, other developed countries could easily benefit from its net resources. On the other hand, when one country seeks help from other countries, who has digitalization and networking their information resources, its own network resources can't be completely independent.

1.3 Paying more attention to actual effect of network information resources, and improving network service level

Network consumers want practical new messages. However, they often complaints about short volume and out-of-date content, also less authoritative information the network offers.

The booming of global information high way is a huge progress of science and technology, also to human society. Different from industrial products, massages imported to information high way naturally come with political and cultural influence. In the future, those who holds information, will hold rights and wealth, and even hold the world.

4. Problem Resolving

4.1 Emphasizing information collecting, utilizing, developing, and making it digitalization and convenient for consumers. There are many kinds of document in Asian and Oceania. In the period of networking, it is necessary to make them digital. And supply people all over the World with them.

4.2 Treatment of Network Garbage

There is many "information pollution" caused by information garbage, so it's important to distinguish information quality.

4.3 Information Law Making

Legislation guarantees effective development and utilization of net information. To be recognized as international law, information legislation may protect and stipulate information transmitting.

Information is important wealth and strategic resources of a country, and basic of social economic development, as well as science and technology. The stage of utilizing of information resources marks a nation's comprehensive power. Developed countries lead the hardware, while the competing focus between developed countries and developing countries is information resource industry. If developing counties fail in competing, they have to depend on developed countries as before. We are advancing from industry society to information society, it's high time to promote information industry of national culture and background, meeting the advanced international network technology and speeding up industrialization of information service. Only by that can the developing countries be in a favorable competing position in the coming new century.


1. Li Renhou. The development and influence of Information Superhighway. University Library Journal, 1995.4

2. Dong Xiaoying. Internet and Research Information Superhighway. University Library Journal,1995.1

3. Zhou Qing,Chao Shuzhen. Information Superhighway: the Development of the World and the tactics of China. Jiangshu Library Journal, 1994.5

4. Wang Daohan. The Culture of East Asia and the trend of the World. Wenhui Newspaper,10/17/1998


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