Re: Ancient history [Re: ipv4 and ipv6 Coexistence.]

Brian E Carpenter <> Thu, 27 February 2020 00:58 UTC

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Subject: Re: Ancient history [Re: ipv4 and ipv6 Coexistence.]
To: Michael StJohns <>,
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2020 13:58:04 +1300
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Hi Mike,

On 27-Feb-20 12:15, Michael StJohns wrote:
> On 2/26/2020 5:29 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> On 26-Feb-20 23:28, Stewart Bryant wrote:
>>>> On 26 Feb 2020, at 09:56, tom petch < <>> wrote:
>>>> On 26/02/2020 09:35, Stewart Bryant wrote:
>>>>> Before my time, but was IPv4 designed before or after the Internet was released from the government to the public?
>> It was never really a government project; it was a DARPA-funded R&D project. And there are various good books about the early days. I happen to like "Where wizards stay up late" by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, but there are others.
>> The TCP/IP split and IPv4 really date from about 1977, with the cutover date being 1/1/1983. I'm sure the spec was available before RFC791. It was still DARPA-funded then, of course.
>>>> Way before, if I understand your question aright.
>>>> I see the start of the public internet as April, 1995, when commercial activity, over and above applying for NSF grants, was permitted.  This enabled ISPs as we now know them.
>> There were commercial operators before then, including outside the USA. Also, .com originated before 1995, see RFC1591.
> The two (.com and commercial operators) aren't really connected.   From 
> 83 to about the early 90s, access to the internet  was permitted to 
> commercial companies only under the AUP - which spelled out acceptable 
> use and explicitly prohibited commercial use.  A number of companies 
> involved in research and support of the internet (e.g. BBN who was 
> from about '87 or so ), were permitted access to support 
> government programs, but not allowed to use it for their own 
> purposes.    NSF's standing up of the various interconnect points, the 
> NSFNet,  and a change in the routing to BGP allowed a commercial 
> internet to rise up at the edges and various nationally based internet 
> providers to interconnect.
> ( 
> claims that the AUP was eased in '91).

Yes, the NSFnet AUP was constantly a work in progress, and pretty much every network
in those days had their own AUP in some shape or form.
>>>> IPv4?  I date to RFC791, September 1981 although much of the technology was fixed before then.
>>>> Tom Petch
>>> My question was semi-rhetorical because I did not remember the exact timing, but I think this conforms my suspicion that the key technical decisions behind the Internet were made whilst it was under government control.
>> IMHO it was never under government control; it was R&D paid for by the US government, which is very different.
> Nope - it was under government control.  I remember approving at least a 
> few interconnections during my time at the DDN program office (85-89), 
> including a discussion with Vint that ended up getting MCIMail to be 
> able to transit the internet.  I think Stewart is more correct than you.

Well, it's semantics. I took him to be talking about protocol design, which
is where this thread started. Connectivity was certainly controlled by whoever
was paying the bills, such as you! By me and my boss, as far as transit through
CERN went. And so on.


> Mike
>> There is a list for this, and it's not an IETF list:
>> Internet-history mailing list
>> Regards
>>     Brian