[arin-ppml] nonsense about unrealized awareness from legacy resource holders

Jo Rhett geek at jorhett.com
Thu Apr 14 21:44:36 EDT 2022

> During the time in question when legacy resources without a contract were given, the Internet was a government project and those resources were government property. While commercial use of the NSFNet was rampant, it was explicitly illegal until 1992 when NSFNet stopped being funded directly from the government.
> 1989. World.std.com <http://world.std.com/>. MA USA.  Barry Shein and Mary Reindeau left Boston University and began offering public access from the SS Pierce building in Brookline. They used to call it a public utility. You might want to check with Barry or Mary regarding facts.  They fought that battle. And won.  And they're nice people.  You can chat with either at bzs@ or mer at . 

This isn't a binary fact check. A single contrary example does not disprove anything here.  There was NO consistent policy application in those years.

I realize you didn't grow up in the Washington DC politic, but I assure you that our government is perfectly capable to telling one entity yes and another entity no, of auditing the hell out of one entity for the most minor violations, while ignoring the most absurd and blatant violations from another. Even if you put it aside to honest mistakes, there was a lot of different voices and a lot of flip-flopping back and forth and even the most well intentioned people were guilty of creating terrible inconsistencies.

That one party was allowed to do something did not mean another party was offered the same boon.  Arguably the fall of NSFnet could be started by west coast universities (and university-backed Internet startups) being denied the exact same privileges given to entities in Boston. I still have excessively long argument threads dating through 1990-1992 about what BBN was allowed to do that we were being denied, for identical use cases and identical purposes.

1989-1992 in particular were a whirldwind of chaos, and I could spend hours relating tales of inconsistency in allowances during those years. I can tell you about projects that were funded, we spent more than a year and over a million dollars building out (back when a million dollars was lot more money than it is now), that were shut down the day after we started them up because someone got upset, grabbed a congress-critter and bam!  policy change. Then 6 weeks later we were all called back in and asked to make it work again.

Jo Rhett

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