(fwd) ?End of Internet as we know it

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Sun May 30 03:02:51 EST 1993

In article <m0nzeMd-000EYnC at garnet.msen.com> emv at garnet.msen.com (Edward Vielmetti) writes:
>This is from "bionet.general", a group that doesn't likely get a lot
>of cross-readership with com-priv.  If one of the Steves would be
>so good as to reassure the biologists that the network is not coming
>to an end, it would be probably a good thing.
>(unless of course the network is coming to an end, in which case you
>had best to start explaining now)
> ...... deleted relayed message which some one posted earlier.

I wonder if I'm one of the "Steves" that you refer to, is me?  ;^)

I have before me a booklet: "High-Speed Computer Networking for Research
and Education" which appears to be a joint publication of MCI and IBM...and
the publication date is 6/92...so somethings might be "out-of-date.:
I picked this up from the front lobby of the MicroElectronics Center of
North Carolina, which I believe is North Carolina's superhub on the current
electronic super highway.

A map on the front cover shows the primary backbone links of what I presume
to be NSFNet and the subtitle: "NSFNET Backbone Service: NSF, Merit, ANS,
IBM, MCI, State of Michigan."

"As a result of a series of expansions and improvememnts, by 1990 the
NSFNET was the world's fastest packet-switched research network carrying
many times the traffic of any other federally sponsored network.  By the
end of 1991, the NSFNET backbone service connected several million people

"The NSFNET backbone service now serves as a component of the National
Research and Education Network (NREN) initiative, which is part of the
administration's High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC)
"The NSFNET itself is seen as one connerstone for a far larger edifice, the
national information infrastructure..."

"Both IBM and MCI are major participants in the gigabit testbed
initiatives. MCI is working on multi-gigabit physical links that can be
broken down into various SONET interfaces.  IBM has designed a complete
gigiabit-speed network architecture capable of handling....

[Now we come to the distinction between The Internet and NSFNET...]

"The Internet
"The Internet is a system of more than *4,000* linked networks and is
generally described as a community of three to four million users that can
be reached via an IP (Internet Protocol) address.  With almost 30 countries
with IP capability, the "American" Internet is rapidly becoming global in
scope.  Total electronic-mail connectivity, including MCI Mail, CompuServe
and other commercial networks, is estimated at about 10 million people.
The NSFNET is a key part of the Internet."

"NSFNET Backbone Service Initiative: Partnership Formed by Merit, IBM, MCI
in November 1987, the NSF entered into a cooperative agreement with
Merit...Merit had extensive experience operating and managing the longest
running state-wide research and educational network in the nation, now
called MichNet.....

"The State of Michigan Strategic Fund contributed additonal funding....

"There was no university, no communications vendor and no computing company
that by itself could deliver what NSF wanted--all three were needed...."

On a subsequent page are two maps, the T1 Network and the T3 Network (I
believe that the T1 network has been all hardware upgraded to T3) and this
		BARRNET--Bay Area, CA
		CERFnet--Los Angeles
		CO Supernet--Colorado
		CONCERT--North Carolina  (that's us!)
		CSUNET--Calif. State Univ.
		JVNCnet--Eastern U.S./International
		Los Nettos--Los Angeles
		NYSERnet--New York
		ONET--Ontario Net (Canada)
		PSCNet--Penn., Ohio, WV
		SDSCnet--San Diego
		WVNET--West Virginbia

Still farther on is a sidebar "Testbeds for a Gigabit Network" listing five
major projects and from the list of participants it appears to be a mixture
of the large communications providers, computer companies, Federal national
labs, state universities, private universities and industry/state
coopertive research institutions.

Nothing seems to be hidden....and it all seems to be quite far from being
intended as a welfare handout for "free" use to disadvantaged users, such
as university researchers (who use "free" money to start with).

I have been told that here at NCSU, "someone" is picking up the tab for our
campus connectivity to Internet, but that will not be the case in the
future (i.e., users will be assessed usage charges).  

If I chose to, I could subscribe privately with MCNC for Internet
connection for non-academic, clearly commercial purposes (have you noticed
that Intelligenetics has two aspects, 1) NSF contract service provider and
2) data and information commercial services via Internet?

I'd be hesitatant to take a strongly strident stance in the midst of a
growing number of commercial connectees, who might very well begin
pressuring the Government to *really* get out of
subsidation-at-their-expense.  :^)  Where will federal spending cuts be

Internet (as opposed to NSFNET) is fundamentally no differnt than
commercial telephone service..it's just communications in another guise and
*someone* is definitely paying for it.

As for any purity of purpose, remember that the government is inverterately
devious in how large scale communications projects are paid for...and what
actually exists for what purpose.  I'm thinking of how in the Fifties and
Sixties, the Long Distance telephone rates were artificially high so as to
rake off the money needed to build and maintain the "red" phone hot line
system for the Strategic Air Command and the North American Air Defense
Command (if a person in Colorado picked up a red phone, it automatically
rang in Westover Base, MA or Thule, Grewenland or Thailand and was answered
before the second ring ).  This was acconlished by a sub-rosa *secret*
agreement that never showed up as having an *public* Congressional

Charging a fee is a way of gauging the value of a serivce or product and
sometimes even a cure for abuse of a privelege.

Steve  [who never speaks for anyone elese]

|     In person:  Steve Modena     AB4EL                           |
|     On phone:   (919) 515-5328                                   |
|     At e-mail:  nmodena at unity.ncsu.edu                           | 
|                 samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu                |
|                 [ either email address is read each day ]        |
|     By snail:   Crop Sci Dept, Box 7620, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695 |
         Lighten UP!  It's just a computer doing that to you.    (c)

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