Trans-Atlantic Traffic

Per Gregers Bilse bilse at
Fri Aug 22 14:46:24 UTC 1997

On Aug 22,  7:37, "Sean M. Doran" <smd at> wrote:
> I certainly accept that, so with respect to your assertion
> that EUnet was "kicked out" of Ebone 6-7 years ago I
> decided to check on three obvious primary sources,
> viz. Frode, Kees Neggers and Glenn Kowack.  The first
> choice was obviously the easiest.
> Frode (unsurprisingly) was surprised at your version of
> history.  I was too, since it varied with what I remember

This was a somewhat older Ebone, not the Ebone that we became
friendly with (again).  Our own infrastructure was the result of our
presence being in conflict with public funding and thus AUP;
funding/AUP which was introduced in coup-like fashion, without prior
discussion or agreement -- simply "the following will happen, there
is no room for you".  In the end things didn't materialize in the
form they were introduced, but we had no choice at the time except to
build our own.  You will of course always find different perceptions
of the same events, but you should keep in mind that not everything
was said in public, and there will thus be a natural diversity of
opinion.  If you think rationally, why didn't we stay with Ebone?
Warm, cosy, cooperative -- why would anybody break away voluntarily?

> :-) ).   He also said that Ebone would be very happy to
> welcome EUnet back into the fold if the departure was due
> to some misunderstanding several years ago.

It was no misunderstanding, it was fairly run-of-the-mill power
politics; but Frode wasn't part of it.  And, of course, if Ebone
wants to be part of EUnet, we can probably work something out.

> > Among other things, you seem to overlook
> Which other things, out of curiosity?  Admittedly I'm

Perhaps the most interesting part is that EUnet predates Ebone by
several years (one can take a hint from AS numbers, we are 286, Ebone
is 1755).  Your somewhat glorifying description of Ebone and the
lumping of everybody else belies the fact that EUnet was the original
cooperative model, with all members contributing to the costs, and
lines shared as per your description of Ebone.  The model was thus
"commercial" from the start, with no direct public funding, and with
a very high degree of independence for the members (or customers, or
whatever one should call them).  Parts of that model still exist
today, with the national operating companies (most of which are fully
owned by EUnet International Ltd) retaining a fair degree of autonomy,
and EUnet CS BV not seeking to make a profit (this is done in the
operating companies).

> > while Ebone had its US half circuits paid by the NSF,
> > and Rick Adams lent us a big helping hand during those
> > years.
> Wow, this is a rat's nest. :)  Um, my ICM memories are

And it wasn't nice to be the innocent cheese.

> that in the first place Ebone was initially principally an
> academic consortium, but that as commercial traffic began

It was all R&D'ish at the time, EUnet too (heck, we were the first,
traceable back to 1982).  The initial commercial interests came out of
the UNIX User Groups, which naturally contained a high proportion of
IT companies and professionals (my involvement with EUnet started by
me being a slightly disgruntled UUG member and EUnet customer), in
addition to the more traditional members (computer science departments,
labs, institutes, etc).

> the past couple of years, but in any event, I think you
> will find that any indirect subsidy really didn't amount to all

I didn't exactly imply that (it could be a hot discussion topic,
though), rather that we (and our members/customers) found ourselves
out pretty cold due to not being a (politically correct) national
research network.  Those networks actually appeared much later than
the EUnet group(s), and in a number of countries used combinations of
public money and political pressure to usurp our customer base, which
at the time was largely non-commercial (in the sense that they
weren't profit-making companies; they were, however, commercial
customers in the sense that they paid themselves for the resources
they used, a principle which has been re-introduced in many places
over the past few years).  But all of this is obviously history by

------ ___                        --- Per G. Bilse, Director Network Eng & Ops
----- /     /  /   __   ___  _/_ ---- EUnet Communications Services B.V.
---- /---  /  /  /  /  /__/  /  ----- Singel 540, 1017 AZ Amsterdam, NL
--- /___  /__/  /  /  /__   /  ------ tel: +31 20 5305333, fax: +31 20 6224657
---                           ------- 24hr emergency number: +31 20 421 0865
--- Connecting Europe since AS286 --- e-mail: bilse at domain

More information about the NANOG mailing list