Matt Mathis mathis at
Thu Sep 8 15:36:48 UTC 1994

You are missing the point.

NSF has arranged things such that the best way to connect to the U.S. R&E
community is to connect to a NAP.  Period.

Nobody, including NSF, has global responsibility to assure interoperation of
the rest of the Internet.  Since the NAPs have mechanisms to recover costs
from the non-R&E community there is a fighting chance that they will also
advance this goal, but it is by no means assured.  Many people are working
very hard.....

This means that it will be easy to get from the U.S. R&E community to anywhere
in the rest of the Internet, but interconnection between different parts of
the rest of the Internet depend on the non-US and non-R&E providers comming to
a consensus regarding sane interconnection, compensation for transit traffic
and related pricing and policy issues.  This is not on NSF's plate, and they
have no reason to comment on it.  (It's not on my plate either, but PSC has
customers out there.)

This situation is a direct consequence of the vast pressure brought on NSF to 
"get out of the commodity backbone business".   People complained when somebody
was in charge, so now there is nobody in charge.

Take care,

Assorted follow up:

My earlier suggestion about connecting to an NSP could be translated to: "Write
a contract with an NSP which provides at least the same services as they are
providing to their NSF R&E customers, including transit announcements to all
priority NAPs"

And the following message came to me from someone who wanted to refine my
message, without contradicting it:

"  Your comment about international providers also seems to apply to
geographically compact commercial domestic providers.  Thus, connecting
to one NAP for a state-wide commercial network would fail, just as it
fails for an international provider."

Yes, because such a provider could not support traffic to anther provider
also connected to only one NAP, without transit agreements from NSPs.


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