forwarded message from Wendell Craig Baker

From: John Conover <>
Subject: forwarded message from Wendell Craig Baker
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 11:40:53 -0700

FYI. As you know, the Internet does not exist anymore as a physical
entity. It is now a "logical" entity, and is a completely commercial
enterprise, made up of many local access providers, that are "hooked"
together in a world wide "matrix" architecture network, with no
central controlling structure, or administrative facilities. The NSF
services were discontinued last April, and (with the exception when it
was re-activated, in May I think it was, because the commercial system
went unstable,) used as a backup. The ARPA/DARPA/NSF hardware system
was dismantled this April-for the historically inclined, you can buy a
piece of it at auction prices from BBN, 22 cents a pound I think it
is. The commercial system was given a 1 year to prove itself, and that
phase of the commercialization is now complete. The only remaining
entity is Internic, which assigns domain names, (like johncon to an IP
address,) to make sure that there are not two domains with the same
name, anywhere in the world. It was financed last year by the NSF, and
as of April, is also a commercial institution, charging $50 per year
for each domain name "registration." There are 3 universities, the
three original domains in the original Internet, circa early to mid
1970's, that still receive NSF funding, but that will be discontinued
next April, and there will be no government involvement in the
"Internet."  The attached is an interim study of the status of the
"Internet" today.


BTW, there are concerns about the bandwidth of the "Internet," which
is running near capacity today, and also, we are out of IP numbers,
so, we are also out of domain names. So, if you are an enterprising
type, you can register the IP's that were not re-registered last year,
get them, and sell them-kind of like FCC frequency allocations. Maybe
renting them for a year would be a better idea, since you maintain
control of the numbers that way. Other issues are that the original
architecture was designed as a "trusted environment," with only
minimal security provisions. With the estimated, (since it is a matrix
architecture, there is no way of knowing how many,) 30 million, or so
users, the security provisions are inadequate, with "break-ins"
raising at an exponential rate. (See the CERT advisories over the past
year.) Again, if you are an entrepreneurial type, running a security
firewall to a mini-Internet of security conscious users that provides
secure connectivity to the rest of the "Internet" may be a growth
opportunity. Solves the bandwidth, IP number, and security issues for
the users. Probably a growth market in the near future.


John Conover,,

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