[ih] Baran and arbitrary reliability from arbitrarily unreliable components

Dave CROCKER dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Thu Mar 19 08:22:21 PDT 2009

Scott Brim wrote:
> Excerpts from Dave CROCKER on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 06:32:52PM -0700:
>> (I tend to view that NSFNet step as having core technical impact that is  
>> generally under-appreciated, since it sowed the seeds for the richly 
>> competitive infrastructure, without which we might have a single-operator 
>> backbone...)
> Does this imply an opinion about, e.g., CSnet?  

Probably.  For example, see:


But, then, I'm not exactly objective about the role of CSNet...

> I think NSFNet was not in itself the big step, rather it was the
> unexpected creation of the regional networks as separate from the
> backbone and in many ways more significant.  

My impression is that it was, itself, very much the big step in setting the 
final global architecture stone for the current, competitive Internet.

I believe there were some other backbones lurking around, in addition to the 
BBN-run official one, but that they were dealt with in a very ad hoc manner, but 
that NSFNet's creation forced development of BGP, to explicitly accomodate 
multiple (ie, competing...) backbones.

And the creation of the regionals rather explicitly set the stage for local 
ISPs, since the funding model for NSFNet (which was test-marketed by CSNet) was 
that funding from the government had a sunset date, by which other sources of 
funding needed to be found.


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

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