NANOG/IEPG/ISOC's current role

Gordon Cook gcook at
Mon Apr 1 22:03:14 UTC 1996

  My lord that article was laughable.  Metcalfe really doesn't have a clue.
Yes infrastructure is very strained.  Yes the internet is burping and 
hiccoughing.  Will the *whole thing* collapse?  Of course not.

Bob writes:  The Internet Society is where to organize the management of
Internet operations worldwide, and to drive the tracking, policy 
development, and engineering that would have averted the collapses  I've 
been whining about since December.

Cook:  The ISOC can govern only if it has the allegiance of the 
governed.  ISOC doesn't have any such allegiance.  It had a good 
executive director Tony Rutkowskii who is now gone.  It had A good 
president Vint Cerf who is now doing other things.  It has a good new 
president Larry Landweber who in the opinion of many I have talked to 
represents the interests of the old R&E extablishment.  Ask the movers 
and shakers of the *COMMERCIAL* internet how many are ready to follow 
ISOCs lead.  Damned few I hear.  For the first part of this year a major 
part of ISOCs agenda has been to get Bob Kahn and his CNRI board to give 
up his permanent seat on the internet society board of trustees.

Metcalfe:  The society has the Internet Engineering Planning Group (IEPG) 
for just this purpose. Problem is, the IEPG is not taken seriously 
enough. I just read (at the IEPG's latest reports of 
Internet traffic problems. They were dated -- uh-oh -- March 1994.

Cook: Um....  Is it the Internet or intercontinental engineering
ing planning group?  Problem is according to Lynch and Rose (1993) this 
was a group desgned to provide the planning and coordination necessary to 
make the internet work.  No where do I see short term planning mentioned.

ISOC has the IEPG for just this purpose?  No.  Beg pardon.  ISOC was 
created to give most of the existing internet bodies a legal home as the 
commercial internet matured and the federal gov't withdrew.  Last traffic 
reports march 1994!?  Of course!  This was the month before the last 
gov't funded backbone (NSFnet) was turned off.  Since then the traffic 
statistics have been the **proprietary** possessions of Sprint, MCI, 
UUNET, ANS, etc.

Metcalfe:   And NANOG seems not to be grabbing hold and getting them 
handled -- alas the collapses.

Cook:  NANOG has no power to do any such thing.  What does Bob expect it 
to do write a nasty letter to Sprint and fine them for not buying 50 new 
backbone routers six months earlier!?

Metcalfe:  There is still no system of traffic-based settlements among 
cooperating Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  

Cook:  Bob has been asking for this ever since the summer of 1993.  
Hasn't anyone told him there are some problems with the nature of TCP./IP 
that make this highly problematic to attempt.  Not to mention the loss of 
business that would result for the first provider to try such a stunt.

Metcalfe:  ISPs don't report their outages to one another and never to us.

Cook:  why in heaven's name should they report them to you!?
The Internet is coping amazingly well with unprecedented growth, if Bob 
would listen more carefully to those who are making it work, he'd write 
fewer inane columns.

The only way to accomplish what he seems to want is to have the FCC take 
over the Internet and run it.  All those who want to see a regulated 
Internet say "aye!"

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On Mon, 1 Apr 1996, Michael Dillon wrote:

> Have a look at Bob Metcalfe's Infoworld column this week at
> in which he
> discusses the shortcomings of NANOG, IEPG and ISOC in not taking a more 
> aggressive role in managing the operations of the Internet.
> Michael Dillon                                    Voice: +1-604-546-8022
> Memra Software Inc.                                 Fax: +1-604-546-3049
>                             E-mail: michael at

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