Peter S. Ford peter at
Fri Sep 9 23:55:34 UTC 1994

There have been several questions about  MAE-East and the DC NAP.
In particular it is asked why the NAP, and the MAE/GIX are separate
facilities. I don't see them as separate facilities, instead I see
them as 2 virtual networks on top of the very same MFS facilities.
Both virtual networks use MFS's ability to offer bridged 802
framed/addressed/switched networks in a distributed manner.
In fact, there is no really good reason why they have to be separate
virtual networks, since they have the same basic technical
requirements and have similar implementation policies.
There has been some debate that the problem is that the NSF wants
control over the NAP, but there does not appear to be any evidence
to this line of argument.

NSF would like to see the  following policies to be
in place for the NAPs:

        non-discriminatory access to the NAP for Internet Service Providers

        NSPs serving RNPs that have NSF RNP awards must advertise routes to
                and accept traffic to/from the RNP's US R&E customers.

        Bandwidth and service to scale over time

It does not appear that this runs counter to the policies of the

An obvious result of deliberation on the issues at hand
would be to simply relabel the things as MAE/GIX/NAP 
and be done with it.

Any such arrangement would of course be contingent on an agreement between
the entity that has contracted with MFS to provide MAE-East, and the
entity (NSF) who have a cooperative agreement with MFS to furnish the DC
NAP service.  NSF would welcome the opportunity to open talks that might
lead to such an agreement.

This line of discussion naturally leads into the issues of "...  what
about the CIX and California NAP, they are both on PacBell facilities,
etc.  ...".  Here the issues are not so clear as in the MFS case since
the PacBell NAP is based on ATM technology and the CIX has elected to
use SMDS as their service.  This does not preclude interconnecting the
CIX with the PacBell NAP.  One could imagine a CIX router getting an
ATM interface and connecting to the PacBell ATM service that the
PacBell NAP is built on.  The NSPs that are connected to the ATM
service could then *ALSO* use ATM to access each other, and *ALSO* use
the ATM service to access other CIX members.

Over time it is likely that SMDS will simply be another type of frame
that is carried over ATM and that you will see:

        Router              Router
        SMDS                SMDS
        ATM Interface       V.35/HSSI
        |                      |
        |                   SMDS DSU/CSU
        |                      |
        |                      |
ATM Switch  ========  SMDS Switch
            ATM Link

This would result in the same kind of underlying facility merger you
see today for the bridged 802 based services that MFS offers.  I fail to see
the point of maintaining separation of the CIX and PacBell NAP that
appears to be the focus of many in these discussions.  Interconnecting
the two services (NAP and CIX)  could be very useful in simplifying the
issues of Internet interconnection while maintaining the CIX and
NAP policy objectives.

cheers, peter

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