the original thirteen NSFNET regionals

Hans-Werner Braun hwb at
Mon Jun 9 17:19:07 UTC 1997

> It's also worth noting that DECNET was a leading contender for the NSFNET.
> Sid Karin, director of SDSC, tells the story that he was leaning toward
> DECNET until he met a taciturn Teutonic network engineer from Ann Arbor who
> convinced Sid among others that a TCP/IP backbone would work.

You actually do not quite have your story right. Sid used MFENET
(Magnetic Fusion Energy) protocols for the SDSCnet (SDSC consortium)
satellite network initially. I was also the networking person at the
University of Michigan responsible for the UMichigan-SDSCnet connection
(with MFENET protocols) at that time (besides other responsibilities).
It did work, and SDSC continued to use it despite the NSFNET using IP.
Over time SDSC phased MFENET out and IP in, but besides the reponsibility
of the taciturn Teutonic network engineer from Ann Arbor for the NSFNET,
I don't think he had much to do with the phaseout of the MFENET usage
at SDSC. Sid still claims that he is proud of both his MFENET decision
as well as the decision to phase it out, as time moved on.

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