Now, lets look a bit more into that high dollar
award, shall we? Reread that solicitation again.
At the moment, I only have copies of the abstracts, BTW, and they
do not state explicitly any locations, as you point out.
No where does it state that the RA gets a free ride
at any of the NAPS. We have to pay, just like everyone
else. And we have two connections, where most everyone
else has one. And who is the RA paying, with our award
dollars? Your right! Its your local telco/NAP operator.
Yes, good point, it would be interesting to examine core NSF 4090 and
4091 awards and look at the statistical breakdowns of how much
money is actually going to development & hardware, and how much is
going to transport. This would need to be done, however, not at the
award level, but with the actuals.
My intuition is that you are correct in your lament that a lot of
money goes to transport and 'parking fees'. That is a good point
BTW, because when looking at the dollar amounts of the NSF awards
to the big telcos, it is possible to overlook the addition support
(by providing transport, et. al. services) to other contracts and awards.
Just as a datapoint, one of them had set initial pricing
at $60,000.00 per MONTH per connection. They have been
talked down from that number, but it still would eat
that paltry 10M award in much less than 5 years.
It appears, on the surface, if more people were actively participating in
helping the busy NSF folks (and the US Taxpayers) find ways to reduce
costs (such as transport and 'parking fees') everyone would benefit,
except those who manage to bill the government (again, US taxpayers)
retail rates at the enormous transport and connection fees.
Since I have some free time, I volunteer to help by looking more
closely at the actuals and providing interested parties with a comprehensive
breakdown of how the 4090 and 4091 money actually flows. I'm sure
the good NSF folks will be glad to point me to the right person
there to examine the actuals; these are public funds, yes?
After all, if we are spending ??? millions of dollars on transport and
cannot afford to build a solid 'next generation' RA system and
accessible NAPs (or just a few RAs at the existing NAPS) then it
is reasonable and prudent to question the way the tax-dollar actuals are
being allocated and spent.
This appears to be a rational, equitable, and just approach.