Internet Threat FAQ

Christopher Amshey amshey at NETSYS.COM
Sun Jun 13 05:59:57 EST 1993

Recently, a very disturbing post has appeared on several newsgroups.
Most groups have dismissed it as so much BS ... unfortunately, it
was not a very accurate post. I include here the beginning of this
post so you can recognize it:

Comments:      Resent-From: ric la rue <LARUET at ETSU>
Comments:      Originally-From: Carl Dassbach <DASSBACH at

please pass along to others so we can keep things growing online.
ric, knight of the nets
----------------------------Original message----------------------------

Most of you are probably aware of a plan to limit free use of
INTERNET to "scientists" transmitting huge files and to start
charging for e-mail.  Apparently, this is the result of private
telecommunications interests putting pressure on the National
Science Foundation.
[several pages deleted]

Do not take this too seriously. There *is* a threat, but it is one
of withdrawing funding rather than actually limiting the net in
any way. The confusion caused by this posting is so great that
I have taken it on myself to compose the 'Internet Threat FAQ'
This is version 0.0.1 (Heh) compiled in the middle of the night to
try to disperse some of the hysteria. I will post it to several
newsgroups. Please, feel free to post it to your favorite newsgroup.
I include, with due credits, the following posts that sound like
they know what they are talking about AND actually cite references.
I will check these references when the week begins again, and try
to get specifics. Also, for you overseas, this means that as far as
your concerned, there is NO threat because it only affects american
sites (Unless there is american funding to overseas internet sites...
Let me know if there is any such thing...)
Anyone who wants to aid and/or take over this thing, feel free. 

From: mmurrain at
It is *not* BS. A senator has sponsored a bill (I think it is still in
committee) which is a broad based bill about telecommunications, etc.
One of the parts of the bill is the removal of the federal subsities to
the internet within 18 months of the passage of the bill. This wouldn't quite
have the effect of cutting off lots of users at once, but the cost of operating 
an internet connection will rise significantly. Colleges and Universities will
probably just eat the cost, because internet has become a necessary part of 
academia. But it probaly will limit access for folks who link up with the 
internet through .org, and .com routes, and BBS connections too. There is an
article in _The Chronicle of Higher Education_ about the bill ant the whole
issue. I think it was a couple of weeks ago. 
Some folks (the capitalists) say the costs with this bill would rise 10-20%,
others say 50-100%. So who knows.

From: lance at wolves.Durham.NC.US (Lance A. Brown)

It isn't BS, but it also is not the death-knell for cheap internet

The NSF _has_ finally released its proposal for revamping how it funds
subsidized access to "The Internet".  Currently the NSF contracts a
handful of companies to provide a T3 level backbone network that
regional subnetworks and other organizations can hook into.  Its call

What the NSF is proposing is shifting the funding so that it goes
directly to the "users" instead of subsidizing the backbone and
letting commercial interests provide the backbone.  These users would
be organizations such as universities and colleges and research
instiututions.  This allows the long distance carriers and regional
phone companies to compete in providing inter-network connectivity and
_should_ drive prices downward due to standard market pressures in a
competitive situation.

In fact, MCI and a consortium of regional phone companies have already
set forth a proposal for a drop in replacement of the the NSFNet
backbone that supports current bandwidth requirements and anticipates
a move to a 100+ Megabit bandwidth in the future.

My only worry is that commercial companies will try and set fees based
on per-packet use of the network; a quantity that has no relation to
the cost of operating the network until the bandwidth is saturated.


That's all I know so far. I won't have full posts included in the future,
but that seemed easiest right now.


amshey at
Amshey, Wizard @ 2010 [The Revenge of the End of the Line]
Splork, Player @ 4242 [Discworld]
(Woe is me, I have a limit of 4 lines to my .signature file! Misery!)

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