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  • Lost Networks: The Socrate and Iperbole Projects in Italy

    Paolo Bory

    Chapter from the book: Bory, P. 2020. The Internet Myth: From the Internet Imaginary to Network Ideologies.


    This chapter examines the history of the Socrate project, the digital infrastructure promoted by the Italian telecommunication company Telecom Italia during the mid-1990s, and the history of Iperbole, the first civic network to provide free Internet access to citizenship. By stressing the local and national dimension of the imaginary the chapter highlights the distance, both in terms of reference models and expectations, of the Italian context from the dominant narrative of Internet history. After a specific analysis of these two network histories, the history of networks in Italy are interwoven with an account of the media landscape particular to the Italian context in order to show how national media histories and imaginaries had an important impact on the development and visions of networks until now. Moreover, this case study highlights the legacy of old and forgotten projects, and the complexity of the relationship between network infrastructures, media imaginary and media at a time when the large-scale dissemination process of digital media, and especially of the Internet and the Web, were still ongoing

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    How to cite this chapter
    Bory, P. 2020. Lost Networks: The Socrate and Iperbole Projects in Italy. In: Bory, P, The Internet Myth. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book48.d

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    Published on April 29, 2020