Genuity, the descendant of BBN and one of the original Internet technology and infrastructure providers, may be forced to file for bankruptcy. Why does this matter? As this New York Times article points out, UUNet and PSINet have already declared bankruptcy. These three companies were pioneers of the commercial backbone market in the early 1990s. (MCI and Sprint were also significant players, but as part of established phone companies.) What I’m wondering is whether these failures are just a consequence of the telecom collapse, or whether the backbone business was simply a mirage all along.