ANS Connectivity Agreement

Hello Al,

Thank you for responding to my note.

I am responding to your note to Al Weis regarding the exchange of commercial
traffic between ANS and NEARnet. The short answer to your question is no,
ANS will not accept commercial (CO) traffic generated by an attached network
under the Connectivity Agreement. There is a Gateway agreement that can be
signed whereby ANS and the attached network exchange CO traffic.


The thread of your question implies that the infrastructure of NEARnet and that
of ANSnet are symmetrical.

I don't think so. I asked for a fair and equitable arrangement, which does not
necessarily imply symmetry.

Providing national backbone services as well as
direct attachments and gateways positions ANSnet within a different economic
and operational structure. The scale of our operational and other commitments
does not allow ANSnet to provide transit services in exchange for the delivery
of CO traffic being accepted by NEARnet.

I agree that the cost of leased lines is related to the length of the line. I
also understand that the costs of field service, sales and other
customer-related activities are greater in a national effort versus a regional
effort. However, the costs of these activities are very real for a regional
network. The problem I have with your stated position is that the costs a
regional incurs in providing its infrastructure are not recognized by the terms
of your proposed agreement. To reiterate, I do not consider them to be fair
and equitable.

I believe, however, that cost of providing service is not the only issue to be
considered. I believe that a most important parameter in the equation is the
number of connections a network brings. As we already have access to the
NSFnet, what you are offering NEARnet is access to Dialog. What you want is
access to 115 of New England's premier research and educational institutions.
Please do not misinterpret me - some of NEARnet's clients have expressed an
interest in access to Dialog. I am actively considering whether ANSnet is the
best way to provide that service to them.

On another note, ANS now finds itself in a competitive position. As the
manager of a regional network, I must consider the value of competing options
to determine the best option for NEARnet to offer to its members. Some of the
criteria I am considering are:

  * Quality of service provided by the vendor
  * Responsiveness of vendor
  * Cost of service
  * Richness of connectivity (i.e. # of connections)
  * Terms of contract

Your salesman and I will once again be sitting down tommorrow to discuss ANSnet
as an option for NEARnet. I intend to negotiate with him in good faith for the
benefit of NEARnet's membership.

Now, let me say in closing that the reason that I have brought my thoughts on
these topics to this public forum is that I objected to Al Weis'
characterization of the connectivity agreement. I have made my objections
clear to this audience. Absent of similar grandstanding in the future, I now
intend to close this public discussion.

Thank you for making your position clear and for answering my question.

- John M. Rugo
NEARnet Business Manager
Bolt Beranek and Newman