Re: Xah Lee's Unixism

From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler (
Date: 09/09/04

Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 19:22:56 -0600

Morten Reistad <firstname@lastname.pr1v.n0> writes:
> Since I am on a roll with timelines; just one off the top of my head :
> Project start : 1964
> First link : 1969
> Transatlantic : 1972 (to Britain and Norway)
> Congested : 1976
> TCP/IP : 1983 (the effort started 1979) (sort of a 2.0 version)
> First ISP : 1983 (uunet, EUnet followed next year)
> Nework Separation : 1983 (milnet broke out)
> Large-scale design: 1987 (NSFnet, but still only T3/T1's)
> Fully commercial : 1991 (WIth the "CIX War")
> Web launced : 1992
> Web got momentum : 1994
> Dotcom bubble : 1999 (but it provided enough bandwith for the first time)
> Dotcom burst : 2001

nsfnet1 backbone RFP

misc. reference to award announcement

was for backbone between regional locations ... it was suppose to be
T1 links. What was installed was IDNX boxes that supported
point-to-point T1 links between sites ... and multiplexed 440kbit
links supported by racks & racks of PC/RTs with 440kbit boards ... at
the backbone centers.

the t3 upgrades came with the nsfnet2 backbone RFP

my wife and i somewhat got to be the red team design for both nsfnet1
and nsfnet2 RFPs.

note that there was commercial internetworking protocol use long
before 1991 ... in part evidence the heavy commercial turn-out at
interop '88

the issue leading up to the cix war was somewhat whether commercial
traffic could be carried over the nsf funded backbone .... the
internetworking protocol enabling the interconnection and heterogenous
interoperability of large numbers of different "internet" networks.

part of the issue was that increasing commercial use was starting to
bring down the costs (volume use) .... so that a purely nsfnet
operation was becomming less and less economically justified (the cost
for a nsfnet only operation was more costly and less service than what
was starting to show up in the commercial side).

part of the issue was that there was significant dark fiber in the
ground by the early 80s and the telcos were faced with a significant
dilemma .... if the dropped the bandwidth price by a factor of 20
and/or offerred up 20 times the bandwidth at the same cost .... it was
be years before the applications were availability to drive the
bandwdith costs to the point where they were taking in sufficient
funds to cover their fixed operating costs. so some of the things you
saw happening were controlled bandwidth donations (in excess of what
might be found covered by gov. RFPs) to educational institutions by
large commercial institutions .... for strictly non-commercial use
Such enourmous increases in bandwidth availability in a controlled
manner for the educational market would hopefully promote the
development of bandwidth hungry applications. They (supposedly) got
tax-deduction for their educational-only donations .... and it
wouldn't be made available for the commercial paying customers.

Anne & Lynn Wheeler |