[ih] Fwd: History of "accounts"

John Day jeanjour at comcast.net
Wed Feb 12 03:46:41 PST 2014

Actually, it was quite common at the time for networks to charge for 
both connect time and bytes sent.  Datapac, Transpac, Telenet, Tymnet 
all did this.  One of the arguments against datagrams at the time 
was, how to charge if the network had no idea what packets were being 
delivered and which ones weren't.  Even they realized that they 
shouldn't charge for retransmissions.

There seems to be a lot of conjecture going on here.  Generally, when 
we do history we try to consult original sources to document the 
facts as much as possible, rather than simply conjecture what sounds 


At 4:57 AM +0000 2/12/14, John Levine wrote:
>  >I don't think the absence of a bean-counting-bit impeded the growth of
>>the internet, or the remuneration of those who built the infrastructure
>>to enable it. In fact, I'd say that *at the level of IP and TCP*, the
>>ideology of the shared-information sorts actually enabled a network
>>that could be billed at connection- and application-levels.
>That certainly seems right to me.  Trying to account a packet at a
>time would have been a huge distraction from getting useful work done.

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