early history of the NSI NIC (Was:Re: Developing a broader view...)

dave o'leary doleary at cisco.com
Tue Feb 25 05:06:46 UTC 1997

my recollection from those days is blurred from lack of sleep (then
and now), but I do remember that we (SURAnet/FIX East) put in a T1 link for
added capacity to NSI because connectivity to the NIC when it first moved
there was...ummm....less than satisfactory.  Probably an AGS connected
to an IGS or some such, maybe between the Proteons that we had lying
around (it might have even been connected to the NSI backbone
proteon at the FIX-East end). We just paid for the link for quite a while
because it was the only way we could get connectivity.  I think it was Scott
Williamson (or something like that) who pretty much got munched on in
a big way at the first couple of IETFs and Regional-Techs (pre-NANOG)
meetings after NSI got the contract.  Jennifer (now at UUnet) and Jeff
Burgan (from NASA then, now at Bay Networks) were the ones who actually
really helped to get this working (circuit and routing).

(back in the old days, when I was just a boy things were *really* broken,
we had to sort the packets by HAND...and before in the 80's that we didn't
even *have* a DNS (maybe it would be easier if we went back)).

I also don't worry too much about who is collecting a million here or
there from the government after working with the various defense
contractors and discovering true bureaucratic waste, so maybe the
schedule listed out below is from a second round of funding or
something - but the reason I went through this whole monologue
is that I left SURAnet at the end of March, 1992, (trust, me,
I remember this date) and I *know* the link I described above was up
and running to the NIC at NSI at least months before I left.

So I don't know how the original solicitation could have been in
March of 1992.  I didn't check any of the URLs, so sorry if I
am wasting everyone's time.  Or maybe this is just some doublespeak
and it's all more of the government conspiracy.  Fortunately cisco
is part of the conspiracy now so I can get away with sending messages
like this from the inside, at least until they find me.... :-)


p.s. I would put in a pithy quote from "1984" but I can only find
	"Animal Farm" and "Brave New World" and they aren't quite
	right to match this situation... well actually maybe
	"Brazil" would be better...Central Services anyone?

At 16:22 -0000 2/24/97, Jim Fleming wrote:
>Many NANOG members have been around longer than most.

I don't even know how to respond to this.... ????????

>If any NANOG members can help fill in the blanks on this
>time-table, it might help your members develop a broader view.
>March 1992
>	Original NSF Solicitation
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/solicitation.html>
>May 1992
>	Original NSI Proposal
>October 1992
>	Modified NSI Proposal
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/nis/proposal-toc.html>
>		"Network Solutions believes NSF's objectives will be met
>		most effectively by the award of the bulk of the services to
>		a single contractor."
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/nis/sectionM.html>
>		"Network Solutions proposes Mr. Jon Postel as the
>		IANA Manager and Chairman of the Advisory Panel for
>		the NREN NIS Manager project. He will provide services
>		as an employee of USC's Information Sciences Institute (ISI),
>		subcontractor to Network Solutions."
>	AT&T Proposal
>		<http://ds1.internic.net/internic.info/proposal/>
>January 1, 1993
>	Cooperative Agreements
>		General Atomics (GA)
>			???
>		AT&T
>			???
>		Network Solutions, Inc.
>			<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/agreement/>
>			Estimated Total Amount:
>				$4,219,339
>			Effective Date:
>				January 1, 1993
>			Expiration Date:
>				September 30, 1998
><1993...period of "cooperation"..1994>
>	General Atomics was supposed to be the NIC of NICs
>	and to help coordinate the activities of all three contractors.
>	More NICs were supposed to be formed.
>December 1994
>	Midterm Evaluation
>	<http://www.rs.internic.net/nsf/review/review-toc.html>
>	"The InterNIC awards set the precedent of requiring significant
>	self-coordination among a team of awardees, and requiring outreach
>	to other Network Information Centers. The panel suggests that the
>	NSF critically consider whether it is viable to expect significant
>	self-coordination among a team of awardees in future awards.
>	The panel also notes that the NSF's program management was
>	not able to correct GA's problems early on despite excellent efforts
>	by the NSF staff, primarily because the NSF staff were overextended
>	by monitoring at least two major projects (the InterNIC and the
>	NSFNET backbone) at once. The panel recommends that for future
>	large scale efforts in the rapidly changing Internet environment, the
>	NSF should form an ongoing advisory panel of outside experts or
>	employ some external consultants to help manage such cooperative
>	agreements, rather than waiting two years to call for a review."
>December 1994
>	General Atomics Dismissed
>January 1995
>	NSF gives NSI more money...
>	Amendment 1
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/agreement/amendment1.html>
>		This amendment increases the funds available under
>		Cooperative Agreement No. NCR-9218742 by $1,258,457.
>	NSI changes key personnel...
>	Amendment 2
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/agreement/amendment2.html>
>February-March 1995 (???estimated date???)
>	SAIC purchases NSI
>		http://www.saic.com
>		http://www.netsol.com
>	Circumstances, terms, previous owners....???? not known ????
>May 1995
>	NSF gives NSI more money...AND reviews plan to start charging
>	Amendment 3
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/agreement/amendment3.html>
>		"The National Science Foundation (NSF) hereby awards
>		$1,948,632 to Network Solutions, Inc. for additional
>September 13, 1995
>	NSF approves NSI's plan to charge for domain name registrations
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/agreement/amendment4.html>
>October 1995
>	Many people and companies debate the issues surrounding the
>	commercialization of domain name registrations. The NSF and
>	the IANA prevent commercial registries from having new Top
>	Level Domains.
>November 1995
>	Debates
>December 1995
>	Debates
>January 1996
>	Debates
>February 1996
>	Debates and delays
>March 1996
>	Debates and delays
>April 1996
>	Debates and promises of plans
>May 1996
>	Debates and more promises of plans
>June 1996
>		Montreal, Quebec, Canada
>		<http://www.isoc.org/trustees/96-004.htm>
>		"RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society
>		endorse in principle the proposal "New Registries and the
>		of International Top Level Domains", dated June 1996 by Jon
>		and approve the role assigned to the Internet Society in
>this proposal.
>		The Board authorises Postel, in his IANA role, to refine
>the proposal
>		to include a business plan for review and approval by the
>July 1996
>	Debates and refinement of plans
>August 1996
>	Debates, meetings and claims of an October 1st start
>September 1996
>	Operational registries start to appear
>October 1996
>	The balance of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund is disclosed...
>		<http://rs.internic.net/announcements/iif-update.html>
>	"..through October 31, 1996, $8,542,200.00 has been deposited into
>the account."
>	The Federal Networking Council Advisory Committee advises the NSF
>		<http://www.fnc.gov/FNCAC_10_96_minutes.html>
>		"The FNCAC reiterates and underscores the urgency of
>		transferring responsibility for supporting U.S. commercial
>		in ITLD administration from the NSF to an appropriate entity."
>November 1996
>	"...through November 30, 1996, $9,911,000.00 has been deposited
>into the account."
>	Commercial TRUE Root Name Servers start to appear...
>	the NSF does not allow commercial registries to have TLD entries
>	in the Root Name Servers they control...
>	The NSF awards USC/ISI $1.5 million
>		<http://www.nsf.gov/ftp/awards96/awd9615/a9615927.txt>
>December 1996
>	"...through December 31, 1996: $12,685,450.00 has been desposited
>into the account."
>	The ISOC's IAHC gets started to provide recommendations to IANA
>		http://www.iahc.org
>	NSI ends 1996 registering about 80,000 names per month
>	which is an approximate gross revenue of $8,000,000 per month
>	at $100 per registration. That covers the first 2 years. On an
>	annual basis, this amounts to approximately $48,000,000 per year.
>January 1997
>	IAHC debates continue...
>	Plans are announced by NSI to launch ARIN to charge for IP addresses
>		<http://www.arin.net>
>	NSF gives NSI more money...
>		<http://rs.internic.net/nsf/agreement/amendment5.html>
>	NSI and the IANA announce plans to deploy TRUE Root Name Servers
>February 1997
>	IAHC recommendations to the IANA finalized
>		<http://www.iahc.org/draft-iahc-recommend-00.html>
>	Commercial registries which are now fully operational are
>	still restricted from having their names entered into the widely
>	used Root Name Servers controlled by the National Science
>	Foundation. Companies are now actively deploying commercial
>	Root Name Servers to replace the NSF supported servers.
>September 1988
>	Cooperative Agreement Ends...
>Jim Fleming
>Unir Corporation
>JimFleming at unety.net
>JimFleming at unety.s0.g0 (EDNS/IPv8)

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