RE: FW: OIG Investigates the NSF (revised)

@ On Wed, 5 Feb 1997, Jim Fleming wrote:
@ > 1. More government officials need to become educated about the
@ > technology, the costs, the potential, and the need to fund
@ > a broad cross-section of their constituencies as opposed
@ > to the same old circle of friends that live off the NSF. They
@ > are not going to get this education from the Internet Politicians
@ > and therefore companies and indpendent people will have
@ > to help.
@ Education costs money and time. And time is money so the first problem is
@ that education will cost a lot. In addition, the people who have an
@ aptitude for management often do not have an aptitude for technology.
@ Do you want governments to spend more of limited taxpayer dollars on
@ educating themselves? Do you want government to become the exclusive
@ preserve of technocrats? I think not.

There are many ways that "More government officials need to become
educated about the technology". One of the easiest ways, which does not
cost one dime, is for people to elect officials that are familiar with the
technology. This will occur naturally as a result of the fact that young
people are learning about technology at earlier ages and some of that
education is causing children to educate their parents. Some of those
parents are (or will become) elected officials.

Many people thought that the 1996 election would be the first Internet
Election. In my opinion, the election here in the U.S. in 2000 will likely
be the first. During this past election, the candidates knowledge or
commitment to the technology was not even a minor issue. In 4 years
it could be a major issue and who knows, maybe an Internet Party
will develop by then as a strong third party to challenge the status quo.
Until platform development, debates, elections, etc. are moved to the net,
the net will not have an role other than advertising and hype. In 4 years,
this might happen, at least in the U.S.

@ > 2. Companies need to provide a stronger presence in the R&D
@ > community and the Internet Infrastructure arena via the
@ > dedication of people, servers, routers and networks
@ > to help support the transition of the Internet FROM the
@ > small group of Internet Politicians TO the real politicians
@ > of the world and the real governments.
@ Are you suggesting that corporations should take on a larger tax burden?
@ No matter how you phrase it, using corporate resources to support
@ government programs is a form of taxation. And increasing the jobs that
@ governments do means increasing taxes. This sort of socialist agenda has
@ pretty much been discredited in most of the world.

No, not at all. Currently most of the Internet Taxes are flowing into
Fairfax County Virginia. Anyone that watches CNN will note that the
county now advertises, like a company. As more counties and states
realize that millions of dollars each month are flowing from all parts
of the globe to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. they will begin to
ask why they are not part of those programs.

In some cases, countries might wake up and ask this question.
I am still amazed that Canadian companies have not clued the
Canadian government into the fact that Canadian companies, like
yours, are sending "tax" dollars to Washington, D.C. (Herndon, VA)
when they could be sent to Ottawa.

Companies can work hand in hand with local, county, state and federal
governments to help them understand how the Internet Politicians are
taxing the Internet. Once they better understand how the money is flowing,
how jobs are being created, and how people are cashing in on huge
fortunes, they will enter the game.

Governments can "outsource" much of the Internet Taxation infrastructure
to companies that are prepared to handle those services. This is essentially
what happened with Network Solutions, Inc. Now, because of the huge
influx of tax dollars, NSI is itself "outsourcing" many of the functions that
they can not handle.

Eventually, companies will see how the money flows in the registry industry.
They may not get clued in from NSI, but those companies doing outsourcing
will see that they could handle several NICs and it will only be a matter
of time before other companies, say, "Hey, we can do fact we
can outsource to the same people NSI outsources to...".

The registry industry is probably the last significant industry that
will be formed in this century. It will some day take its place with
Banking, Insurance, and other similar "paper businesses". It is
currently in its infancy and most executives with the capital to invest
do not have a feel for what is involved or the opportunities UNTIL they
see an example and a Balance Sheet. Then they quickly understand.

@ > 3. Taxpayers need to become better educated that the continued
@ > funding of Internet Politicians is not in the best interest
@ > of the taxpayers, because the Internet Politicians are
@ > attempting to use that money to duplicate many of the
@ > same government structures that already exist and the
@ > taxpayers are going to end up paying twice for the same
@ > functions.
@ If you think that government bureaucrats are spending half their time
@ doing nothing and therefore could be better occupied taking on new tasks
@ then why shouldn't government simply lay off half the bureaucrats and
@ cut costs while leaving the Internet to its own devices? In addition, you
@ are incorrect when you say that taxpayers are paying twice because
@ taxpayers do not pay for the Internet any more now that NSF has dismantled
@ the NSFnet and removed funding for Internet infrastructure.

I guess you missed this recent $1.4 million dollar allocation
from the NSF to the USC/ISI home of the infamous IANA.


Title : Testbed Routers for Advanced Internet Lab (TRAIL)
Type : Award
Date : August 27, 1996
File : a9615927

Award Number: 9615927
Award Instr.: Standard Grant
Prgm Manager: Darleen L. Fisher
Start Date : October 1, 1996
Expires : September 30, 1999 (Estimated)
Total Amt. : $1,499,999 (Estimated)
Investigator: Herbert Schorr
              Allison Mankin
Sponsor : U of Southern California
              University Park
              Los Angeles, CA 900074363 213/743-2311

Fld Science : 31 Computer Science & Engineering
              55 Engineering-Electrical
Fld Applictn: 0206000 Telecommunications
Abstract :
       USC/ISI will create and maintain TRAIL, Testbed Routers for Advanced
     Internet Labs. The TRAIL software will be a freely available, well
     maintained, community research router source, featuring IPv6 in
     particular. The work will extend and leverage developments and facilities
     of the Collaborative Advanced Interagency Research Network (CAIRN),
     organized by ISI under current DARPA funding. CAIRN is a T1, DS-3 and
     OC-3 wide area router testbed. The software is for two classes of
     hardware: 1) high performance but low-cost personal computers, supporting
     small numbers of router interfaces and 2) specialized router hardware,
     supporting the large numbers of interfaces that are characteristic of
     internet interconnect points, and providing a realistic experimental
     model of commercial IP routing technology. For the second class of
     hardware, one vendor who supports such numbers of high-speed interfaces
     proved interested in donating full source code to be used as the base of
     TRAIL. Therefore, the second class of hardware for TRAIL is the
     Ascend/Netstar, Gigarouter. It supports 32 OC-3 ATM ports, or
     combinations of ATM ports with 16 to 128 fast ethernet ports. The
     proposal focuses strongly on support of experimental users. ISI's care
     will be devoted to supporting their software, and maintaining and
     distributing versions for PC alone, and for PC along with Gigarouter. ISI
     will also maintain facilities for IPv6 networking research collaboration,
     and coordinate the North American portion of the experimental IPv6
     backbone, the "6bone".


@ > In my opinion, the U.S. now has the advantage of "going it alone".
@ > A close cooperation of the government, corporations, and taxpayers
@ > is all that is now required to really accelerate progress in the U.S.
@ > In essence, the IPv4 "experimental" Internet can be viewed as an
@ > academic prototype and now the serious money will step into the
@ > picture to move the playing field to a different level.
@ Are you seriously suggesting that the USA should disconnect itself from
@ the global Internet?! Somehow I can't see this idea receiving any
@ corporate support whatsoever given that even small US corporations are
@ able to support export activities using the Internet. It would certainly
@ be a marvelous windfal for the rest of the world but I doubt that the
@ US taxpayers would appreciate having their money used this way.

Of course I am not suggesting that the USA disconnect itself from
the global Internet. What I have said is quite simple, the U.S. does
not need to sit around while the model that has been tested mostly
in the U.S. is mapped to the rest of the world.

The U.S. is free to move forward WITHOUT the Internet Politicians
who will no doubt now spend most of their time educating the rest
of the world and making a buck off that education.

Imagine if the Internet Politicians were "missionaries", imagine if
they came to the U.S. and set up churches (ISPs) along every
river and road, imagine if most of the population was "converted".
Now, given that, would the "missionaries" hang around ? No. They
would set off for some frontier where they are needed. Would the
U.S. be expected to stop all progress ? No. They would be free
to "go it alone".

As a real world example, look at the recent meetings in Hong Kong.
The Asia-Pacific market is a huge market and many of the Internet
Politicians are headed there to seek their fortunes. Another example
is the ISOC meeting this year in Malaysia. In all of these meetings,
people will not be talking about tomorrow's technology and developments
they will be talking about things that have been proven in the U.S.
market place. Small countries can not yet afford to take the risk
of being a leader in these arenas. The U.S. does not have to wait.

Closer to home, look at Canada. You have been very vocal about
how far behind the times your country is. I believe that you once
described that they could not even handle IP allocations correctly.
Does the U.S. have to wait, while Canada learns how to run a
simple address registry ? I don't think so.

Just because the U.S. does not wait does not mean that it is
cutting itself off. As an example, imagine that radio was everywhere
and TV was the next major advance. Imagine that your country,
Canada, was just getting comfortable with FM radio. Imagine that
the U.S. TV broadcasts are picked up by Canadian citizens on
their radios. The U.S. could move forward without being concerned
that you can not see the picture. They have no reason to ask for
your permission. Also, the U.S. would not have to delay T.V until
everyone on earth has a radio. That would be foolish.

@ > @ and losers. Lets get NSI's monopoly removed gracefully, thank the NSF for
@ > @ their "assistance" over the years, and let industry take the lead.
@ > @
@ > @ Bill Schrader
@ > @ Chairman, President, CEO and Founder
@ > @ PSINet Inc.
@ Upon reading this little segment I realize that Bill's earlier comments
@ probably did not have the spin which you put on them in this reply.
@ > Yes, industry needs to take the lead. In my opnion, industry
@ > needs to lead government. U.S. companies need to get together
@ > to make specific proposals to the U.S. government to "assist"
@ > the NSF out of the picture and as a replacement better more
@ > reliable systems and services need to fill the void.
@ Quite frankly, the NSF already is out of the picture. The one remaining
@ thread is that they have a contract with NSI which does not expire until
@ around April of 1998. Other than that, their Internet activities appear to
@ be wholly in support of the research and education community which is
@ quite appropriate.

The NSF and the U.S. Government are very much in the picture
at least in the U.S. While I fully understand why you would like to see
the NSF disappear to create a void to be financially exploited by people
you actively support, I am more concerned with making sure that the
citizens and companies in the U.S. have an extremely stable IPv4
core network which can be used to support new innovations.

@ > The ball is clearly in the NSF's court. The current investigation
@ > of the NSF by the Office of the Inspector General will hopefully
@ Sounds like you are continuing to harass anyone you can find to help you
@ tilting against the windmills.
@ Michael Dillon - Internet & ISP Consulting
@ Memra Software Inc. - Fax: +1-250-546-3049
@ - E-mail:

Thanks for your comments...