Andrew Russell is Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica and Albany, New York. Trained as an historian of technology, he is the author of Open Standards and the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and several articles and essay about Internet history, the Bell System, and the politics and economics of standardization. Together with Lee Vinsel he is co-organizer of The Maintainers, a network of scholars and practitioners who are fascinated with maintenance, repair, and infrastructure.
The emergence of hybrid infrastructure—infrastructure that integrates digital technology with physical infrastructure—will be more efficient and sustainable than the concrete roads and bridges of yesteryear. But the new technologies raise the question of whether to prioritize maintaining existing infrastructure or deploying innovative new infrastructure.