From: arc...@arctos.com (The Arctos Group)
Subject: ABOI: Internet Heads for Private Sector
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 10:47:08 EST
Organization: The Arctos Group - Boston
X-Newsreader: Trumpet for Windows [Version 1.0 Rev B final beta #4]
[Original article appeared in WWW online edition of ]
[the San Francisco Examiner. ]
[URL: http://sfgate.com/examiner/ ]
Mon, Oct 31, 1994
INTERNET HEADS FOR PRIVATE SECTOR
Getting away from government subsidy is first step
By Tom Abate EXAMINER TECHNOLOGY WRITER
The Internet will quietly pass its first milestone on the road to
commercialization Monday, when Pacific Bell and three other network access
providers are supposed to demonstrate that they can carry electronic
traffic now on the government-subsidized National Science Foundation
The NSF net has long been the main thoroughfare of the Internet, that
global web of wires and switches that connects millions of computers and
carries billions of packets of information each month.
Over the next five years, the federal government plans to phase out its
roughly $12 million-a-year subsidy of the NSF net and turn the job of
running the Internet's main drag over to four network access providers,
That switch is scheduled to be complete by April 15, and with that deadline
in mind, the NAPs were supposed to have demonstrated by Monday that they
can start handling traffic that now travels on the NSF net.
Pac Bell engineer Frank Liu, who runs the San Francisco NAP, said his
company had hooked up its first Internet customers a couple of weeks ago,
comfortably ahead of Monday's performance milestone.
"Our job is making sure all the connections are good," Liu said. "For the
individual user everything should be transparent."
The other three NAPs are in Chicago, where Ameritech will handle traffic
switching, the New York metropolitan area, where Sprint will provide the
service, and Washington, D.C., where Metropolitan Fiber Systems will do
Those three NAPs are in varying stages of readiness, according to Stephen
Wolff, director of the National Science Foundation's networking division.
"For a long time it was looking pretty discouraging," Wolff said, as the
NAPs encountered many problems with traffic routing.
"My mood has switched to cautious optimism" of meeting the April 15 goal of
having the NAPs replace the NSF net as the Internet's backbone, Wolff said.
Beyond the technical problems of rerouting billions of information packets
from NSF net to the NAPs, Internet users worry that the gradual end of
federal involvement will lead to some people's being cut off from or priced
out of the Internet.
But supporters of privatization say that as the NAPS turn the Internet into
more of a commercial thoroughfare, they will bring more traffic and lower
prices for all.
htmlAgent 7:59:29 AM