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Auto Industry Aims To Impose Certification on ISPs, pp. 1 -5

This will likely be the year when "industry" makes its mark on the Internet. In an, as yet, little noticed column in the January 16, 1996 issue of Network Computing, Robert Moskowitz calls on industry to regard the Internet as a "rough hewn gem and play the role of the gem cutter." Moskowitz is network architect at Chrysler and member of the Internet Architecture Board. His agenda must be taken very seriously.

For much of the past year, Ford, Chrysler and GM, the Big Three of the auto industry, have been exploring ways to shape the Internet to their growing need to have seamless total communications (CAD/CAM, EDI, email and mail lists, etc) with every one of its thousands of suppliers. The Big Three's initial thought was to put out an RFP for a virtual private network (VPN) where suppliers could be gathered, and quality and security of network performance assured. However, from evidence that we have reviewed, it seems that a planning group at the AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group) concluded that such a network -- named the Automotive Network eXchange (ANX), -- would have been of unprecedented size and cost and therefore unworkable.

The data networks of the Big Three are a mission critical source of information, the "oxygen" necessary to their very existence. Interfacing their suppliers to the same kind of mission critical network would be the source of maximum pay off for their substantial investment in network technologies since 1990. If they couldn't get an industry-wide, vertically integrated network of mission critical quality, they'd head as far in that direction as their finances and technology would allow. Consequently their thinking turned towards something only slightly less ambitious: an outsourcing entity to run a special network exchange point to interconnect the Internet Service Providers their suppliers used and to certify their quality.

But, by the beginning of this year the plan for a special NAP had been dropped and the key mixture that remained was (1) the establishment of quality of service criteria for the Internet Service Provider industry, (2) a requirement for parts suppliers who wanted to do business with the Big Three to get on the Internet as soon as possible, and (3) an interest in creating an independent body to set quality of service standards and monitor how those networks providing service were complying with the standards. The fact that, if parts suppliers are interpreted narrowly, 10,000 companies are involved, and, if broadly, some 100,000 was seen as an "economic hammer" to get the attention of large Internet Service Providers directed away from the current business model of best effort, store and forward delivery of packets.

Reports reaching us say that the auto industry folk are leaving nothing to chance and encouraging the petroleum and banking industries to impose similar rules on the companies they are dealing with. There is some talk of a meeting of industry users to discuss quality standards as early as this May. They would like parts of the federal government to assist them in moving towards their goals. But so far the federal response does not look promising. Their hope is for the creation of an ISP certification agency that would monitor and report on ISP service quality on an ongoing basis. As Moskowitz points out in his article, if neither the Internet industry nor national governments create what is needed, then industry itself can - in the form of an Internet Quality Association designed to look out after industry's interests. The AIAG white paper outlining these plans has a tentative release date of February 1 .

We are looking at the emergence of a situation where more and more of industry's business will have to be done on the public Internet simply because network links are becoming so pervasive that the public Internet is the only entity that can accommodate the breadth and depth of anticipated use.

Steve Wolff Predicts Internet and Telephony Convergence. pp.6 - 10

We publish in its entirety Steve Wolff's TeleStrategies keynote speech given on January 11. There in Steve cited a litany of Internet business statistics including estimates of 3 billion dollars transacted on the web in 1996 rising to an annual 17 billion within 10 years. He emphasized the need for ISPs to compete on service rather than price - adding: "I think the implication is that there will be a great shake out among providers. Those who can adapt to and find the capital to exploit this new technology of differentiated Internet service have a chance of survival. Those who cannot or will not - will not survive. I believe that the aphorism about being an Internet service provider five years from now is true. You will either be big or bought or you'll be dead."

On telephony convergence: "I believe that the telephone system as we know it today will be totally dead within ten years. Anyone today who has a big long distance bill and isn't using Internet telephony needs to think very hard what they are doing with their money." He also mentioned a project at Cornell that is designed to enable the university to plug telephones into its computers and do away with its PBX. On Internet business models: "There is a new Internet paradigm. The Internet, as it was conceived, is broken and will not be put back together again in the same form. The Internet was founded on the notion of store and forward, best effort delivery of IP datagrams. This was a necessary outcome of pure statistical multiplexing, which is the foundation technology of the Internet. But this model is just not good enough anymore."

Internet Society Pains, p.10

Educom and Terena agree to give up Charter Member privileges. Bob Kahn says only Board of CNRI can make that decision for CNRI. ISOC President will resign in June if CNRI Board does not agree. He does not expect to have to exercise that option.

@Home Debut Impressive p.11

Paul Mockapetris explains @Home architecture. To rely on its own national ATM backbone and regional backbones to connect headends. Seeks to solve bandwidth problems by heavy use of caching. Users promised 128 kilobit return bandwidth.

Access Indiana, pp.12 -13

Role of state's preferred providers may be given statutory underpinning. We are now operating unmoderated major domo listserve ai This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , in the face of continued refusal on the part of the organizers to allow free discussion.

US Postal Service Internet Kiosk Program: Nearly One Year Later. Still No Progress, p.13

Report by seminar attendee from bureau of Land Management reveals many glossy brochures, but little grasp of the Internet. Among the issues to which the USPS still does not know the answers are: Who its audience for the kiosks is. Rudimentary design - should the kiosks have keyboards. Verification - how can a user prove his identity? Content - what data should be available?

Colorado, Part 5, pp.14 -22

Part III of special report: The Distributed Model: Is it National Information Infrastructure for the Rest of US? A description of Dave Hughes' Internet technology and delivery philosophy. Critiques of the foregoing by Nancy Bolt state librarian and Ed Lyell state school board member.

InterNIC IP Distribution Policy, p.23

InterNIC now dealing with IP address requests from 50 new ISP start ups every week. By sending all new address requests to their upstream providers InterNIC has gone from handing out 800 CIDR blocks in the /24s to /21s ranges to about 30 /24s - /21s per month.