A Report of the Resource Allocation Committee

Peter O'Neil oneil at ans.net
Tue Dec 14 18:10:19 UTC 1993


            		      December 14, 1993

	During November, the Resource Allocation Committee ("RAC") 
met in Chicago to act on a number of proposals it received from the 
research and education ("R&E") community seeking funds from those
accumulated in the Infrastructure Pool.  The following summary of the 
RAC actions is being released to the general Internet Community.


	To facilitate decision-making with regard to the distribution of
Pool funds, the RAC found it necessary to define the term "infrastructure".
The members adopted the definition of infrastructure as including:  physical 
components, software and tools, programmatic elements, and human resource
components which support the R&E mission of the NSFNET program.  The RAC
believes this definition of infrastructure is consistent with the High
Performance Computing & Communications legislation, the pending National
Information Infrastructure bills, and the Clinton Administration's vision
as defined in "The National Information Infrastructure:  Agenda for Action"
released in September 1993.  

	After reviewing and discussing several proposals, the RAC approved
two proposals to receive Pool funds:

	The first is entitled "Inter-Regional Problem Tracking and
Reporting", submitted by William Yundt, Director Networking & Communication
Systems at Stanford University and Executive Director of BARRNet, the Bay 
Area Regional Research Network.  The proposal will provide for a common 
trouble ticketing system for use by all RAC members.  Such a commonly used 
tool is expected to offer a fundamental improvement for the Internet/
NSFNET by increasing the service consistency and coherence of the overall 
R&E networking enterprise.  It also seeks to improve the responsiveness of
widely distributed and differing network operations in reporting and
resolving problems and making problem state information consistent and 
available throughout the network.

	A second, entitled "Bits and Mortar:  Building the Information 
Infrastructure for Health Care", submitted by Laura Breeden, Executive 
Director of FARNET, the Federation of American Research Networks and Eric
Hood, President of FARNET and Executive Director and CEO of NorthWestNet. 
The proposal will bring national leaders from the medical research, academic,
and clinical health care community together with Internet service providers,
government agency representatives, developers of software and services, and 
medical instrument vendors.  The representatives attending the workshop will
be those who must cooperate to create a telecommunications infrastructure 
for medical and life science researchers and clincial health care providers.
There is also an expectation that our nation's citizens will use networks to
better educate themselves about their health.  

	The workshop discussions will focus on practical, near-term uses for 
Internet-based technology in the conduct of health and life sciences research
and in the delivery of health care and patient information.  Such a workshop 
is expected to play a catalytic role for Internet service providers by 
affording them the opportunity to learn about the network infrastructure, 
capacity requirements, and service demands that will be placed on their 
networks to support bursty image traffic, transport of sensitive or proprietary
data, and other life science applications and services.  


	Representatives of a majority of Regional Networks and ANS CO+RE
Systems, Inc. ("ANS CO+RE"), agreed that they would contribute to an 
Infrastructure Pool a portion of the fees that they collected from entities
(a) to whom they provide network attachments, and (b) that did not agree 
to comply with a Research and Education Acceptable Use Policy (e.g., the
AUP of ANS or NSF). It was agreed that the funds in the Infrastructure 
Pool would be used to improve the infrastructure of ANS and the Regional 
Networks under the direction of a committee (the Resource Allocation 
Committee).  The basic objective of the Infrastructure Pool and the RAC 
was "to ensure that ANS, ANS CO+RE, and the participating networks receive 
sufficient funds to cover the costs of handling traffic exchanges with 
commercial subscribers."  In these Agreements, the RAC is given broad 
authority to set the criteria and processes for distribution of the fund.
The National Science Foundation ("NSF") was kept apprised of the various 
discussions and agreements by which the Infrastructure Pool and the RAC 
were conceived and implemented.  The NSF is a non-voting member of the RAC.

	The current members of the RAC are:

Eric Aupperle, Merit, Inc.		James Luckett, NYSERNet
Guy Almes, ANS				Maurice Mitchell, NevadaNet
Thomas Bajzek, PREPnet			Jeffrey Ogden, MichNet
Alison Brown, OARnet			Glenn Ricart, SURAnet
Patrick Burns, WestNet			John Rugo, NEARnet
Dennis Fazio, MRNet			Thomas Sandoski, Concert
Douglas Gale, MIDnet			Michael Staman, CICnet
Farrell Gerbode, Sesquinet		William Yundt, BARRNet
Eric Hood, NorthWestNet			NSF Representative

Further questions and comments can be referred to:

Peter O'Neil
Chair, Resource Allocation Committee
oneil at ans.net

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