NSF Directory/Database Award

egrimmelmann@attmail.com Tue, 05 January 1993 17:23 UTC

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Date: 5 Jan 93 16:51:16 GMT
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Cc: Shelly London <london@attmail.com>, Susan Estrada <estradas@nic.cerf.net>, Scott Williamson <scottw@nic.ddn.mil>, Don Mitchel <dmitchel@nsf.gov>, Steve Wolff <steve@nsf.gov>
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Subject: NSF Directory/Database Award
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We apologize if you receive multiple copies of this announcement; it is posted 
to several news groups

For further information: 

Shelly London 908 221-4355 


AT&T Will Provide Directory & Database Services to the National Science 
Foundation NSFNET 

Basking Ridge, NJ--AT&T announced today that it has signed a cooperative 
agreement with the National Science Foundation to provide directory and 
database services for NSFNET, the National Science Foundation national data 
network that is part of the Internet.  The Internet is comprised of more
than 5,000 computer networks that facilitate  collaboration among members
of the research and education community.  The Internet, and in particular 
NSFNET, is projected to serve as a basis for evolution to the National 
Research and Education Network (NREN).  

Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will develop and maintain a 
Directory of Directories which will serve as a pointer to numerous
resources on the Internet.  It will include lists of FTP (File Transfer 
Protocol) sites, lists of various types of servers available on the
Internet, lists of white and yellow pages directories, library catalogs 
and data archives.  The Directory of Directories will enable even novice 
users to obtain references to information they need through simple, 
easy to use interfaces.  AT&T also will provide white and yellow pages 
type directory services, such as names of users, organizations and 
resources on the Internet, using X.500 technology, the current standard 
specification for distributed information storage and retrieval. 

As part of its database services, AT&T will establish database servers to 
extend and supplement the resources of the NSFNET, including databases of 
contributed materials of common interest to the user community and 
communications documents.  AT&T also will offer database design, 
management and maintenance services to organizations and groups for 
inclusion in the Internet. 

Initially, access to all services will be provided through several 
currently popular in-use interface methods; with time, it is anticipated
that X.500 will become the primary method of access. 

In providing these services, AT&T will work cooperatively with two other 
organizations:  CERFNet, a General Atomics project, which was awarded a 
similar agreement for information services, and with Network Solutions, 
Inc.(NSI), which was awarded a similar agreement for registration 
services.  The three corporations will collaborate under a common 
concept called INTERNIC. 

"We all feel intuitively that the domestic Internet and the distributed 
collaboration that it facilitates are rapidly creating a national 
'workplace without walls'", said Steve Wolff, Director, Division of 
Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure, NSF.  "These
three awards to geographically dispersed organizations for Network 
Information Services will both exploit and demonstrate the success of the 
network in enabling  distributed collaboration." 

"These directory and database services are essential components of the 
emerging national information infrastructure," said Erik Grimmelmann, 
Marketing Director, Internet/NREN, AT&T Data Communications Services.  
"This agreement marks an important step for the Internet as well as for 
AT&T because services such as these and the related ones to be provided 
by our INTERNIC collaborators will make the Internet even more useful 
than it is today." 

The cooperative agreement is for a five-year period, with annual reviews.  
It is expected that the NSF will contribute approximately one third of the 
costs, with another third provided by AT&T and the remainder recovered in 
user fees. The user fees, which have been proposed for maintenance of 
special databases and extensive directory listings, are consistent with 
Federal Networking Council (FNC) cost recovery guidelines.  The user fees 
were part of AT&T's proposal, which was evaluated by an NSF review panel 
and approved by the NSF. The full text of the NSF statement on INTERNIC 
user fees is included at the end of this release. 

The agreement is a natural extension of AT&T's strong commitment to 
education, research and the advancement of high-speed data networking.  
For example, AT&T operates XUNET (Experimental University Network), a 
high speed experimental research network for the academic community, and 
is a key participant in the CNRI (Corporation for National Research 
Initiative) sponsored BLANCA gigabit testbed.  AT&T also supports 
collaborative applications research projects of direct relevance to the 
Internet, including  an information retrieval service, an image retrieval 
service and a newly developed directory concept called "nomenclator" that 
has been shown to improve response time tremendously when searching large 


Text of NSF statement on user fees: 

Consistent with FNC guidelines on obtaining reasonable cost recovery from 
users of NREN networks, the NSF has determined that the INTERNIC 
Information Services provider may charge users beyond the U.S. research 
and education community for any services provided.  Also, the INTERNIC 
Directory and Database Services provider may charge a fee for maintenance 
of special databases, for extensive directory listings and may charge 
users beyond the U.S. research and education community.  Finally, because 
the registration function provided by the INTERNIC Registration Services 
applies to domestic and international, commercial and individual users in 
addition to research and educational users, it is expected that an 
appropriate registration fee structure will take time to develop.  
NSF expects to engage in an extensive discussion with the domestic and 
international Internet community on the motivation, strategy and tactics 
of imposing fees for these services during the next fifteen months.  
Decisions will be implemented only after they have been announced in 
advance and an opportunity given for additional public comment.