Did Internet Founders Actually Anticipate Paid, Prioritized Traffic?

Sean Donelan sean at donelan.com
Mon Sep 13 21:39:15 UTC 2010

On Mon, 13 Sep 2010, Barry Shein wrote:
> Oh and one more thing...
> In the "early internet", let's call that prior to 1990, the hierarchy
> wasn't price etc, it was:
>   1. ARPA/ONR (and later NSF) Research sites and actual network research
>   2. Faculty with funding from 1 at major university research sites
>   3. Faculty with funding from 1 at not so major universities
>   4. Faculty at 2 and 3 w/o actual research grants from 1
>   4. Students at 2 and 3 (tho less so at 3)
>   5. Everyone else who managed to sneak onto the net (DEC salesmen etc)
> People worried a fair amount about bandwidth on a network with a 56kb
> backbone. And those thoughts tended to turn to those hierarchies.

And don't forget the research & education network folks almost always 
charged commercial institutions a "premium" (sometimes called a 
"donation") to connect to the Internet in the early days.

Even in the early 1990's during privatization, ANS charged differentiated 
pricing with educational instituations being charged less and commercial 
institutions being charged more.

During the pre-1990's, I doubt any of the Internet "founders" were 
thinking of how to pay for networks other than asking for more grant 
money.  ARPA and friends paid the bills, and asked for things like 
TOS/COS long before DiffServ because the military likes to prioritize
things for all sorts of reasons besides price.

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