<LONG>Fwd: MeteredUseOfTheInter.

Subject: <LONG>Fwd: MeteredUseOfTheInter.
From: JPMartin1 -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 1994 00:11:22 EDT

For those who haven't seen this...
Even though many of us have corporate access, that access may become even
more restricted. I believe it's in our best interests to support this.
Forwarded message:
Subj: Metered Use of the Internet (fwd)
Date: 94-05-31 19:20:14 EDT
From: billwinn -at- u -dot- washington -dot- edu
To: JPMartin1

Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 16:07:58 EDT
From: Steve Grochowsky <sgrochow -at- MED -dot- UNC -dot- EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list NURSENET
<NURSENET%UTORONTO -dot- BITNET -at- uwavm -dot- u -dot- washington -dot- edu>
Subject: Metered Use of the Internet (fwd)

> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 11:55:48 -0400
> From: "Dee Pullen (CIRC)" <dpullen -at- DUDLEY -dot- LIB -dot- USF -dot- EDU>
> Subject: PLEASE READ (fwd)
> To: Multiple recipients of list LIBSUP-L <LIBSUP-L%UWAVM -dot- BITNET -at- asu -dot- edu>

> Folks,
> If you haven't seen this and you are interested in using the Internet in
> the future you may find it of interest to read the following and to
> respond.

> Subject: Metered Usage of the Internet: JSN

> A very bad storm is brooding on the horizon.

> In the future, you might have to pay a charge for every E-mail
> message you send or receive, every Usenet article you read,
> every kilobyte of data you transfer with ftp, every hypertext
> link you follow with NCSA Mosaic or Gopher...

> Hopefully this frightens you as much as it does me.
> But it will happen, unless YOU do something about it.

> Please read the attached, fill out the requested info, and
> mail it back to mike -at- essential -dot- org -dot- It also wouldn't hurt to
> forward a copy of this to everyone you know on the Internet.

> Thanks for your support.

> Craig Smith, <bcs -at- cs -dot- tamu -dot- edu or <craig -at- stat -dot- tamu -dot- edu
> Texas A&M University, Dept. of Computer Science
> 205 HRBB, 862-2084 (CPSC). [PGP2 Public Key Available on
> ---

> May 7, 1994

> - Request for signatures for a letter to NSF opposing metered
> pricing of Internet usage

> - Please repost this request freely

> The letter will be sent to Steve Wolff, the Director of
> Networking and Communications for NSF. The purpose of the letter
> is to express a number of user concerns about the future of
> Internet pricing. NSF recently announced that it is awarding
> key contracts to telephone companies to operate four Internet
> "Network Access Points" (NAPs), and an NSF funded very high speed
> backbone (vBNS). There have been a number of indications that
> the telephone companies operating the NAPs will seek permission
> from NSF to price NAPs services according to some measure of
> Internet usage. The vBNS is expected to act as a testbed for new
> Internet pricing and accounting schemes. The letter expresses
> the view that metered pricing of Internet usage should be
> avoided, and that NSF should ensure that the free flow of
> information through Internet listserves and file server sites is
> preserved and enhanced.

> Jamie Love, Taxpayer Assets Project (love -at- essential -dot- org; but
> unable to answer mail until May 15). Until then, direct
> inquires to Michael Ward.

> If you are willing to sign the letter, send the following
> information to Mike Ward of the Taxpayer Assets Project
> (mike -at- essential -dot- org, fax: 202/234-5176; voice: 202/387-8030;
> P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036):

> Names: ___________________________
> Title: ___________________________ (Optional)
> Affiliation: ____________________________________
> (for purposes of identification only)
> Address: ______________________________________
> City; St, Zip ________________________________
> Email Address: _____________________________________
> Voice: __________________________________
> (for verification)

> The letter follows:

> Steve Wolff
> Director
> Division of Networking and Communications
> National Science Foundation
> 1800 G Street
> Washington, DC 20550

> Dear Steve:

> It is our understanding that the National Science Foundation
> (NSF) and other federal agencies are developing a new
> architecture for the Internet that will utilize four new Network
> Access Points (NAPs), which have been described as the new
> "cloverleaves" for the Internet. You have indicated that NSF is
> awarding contracts for four NAPs, which will be operated by
> telephone companies (Pac Bell, S.F.; Ameritech, Chicago; Sprint,
> NY; and MFS, Washington, DC). We further understand that NSF has
> selected MCI to operate its new very high speed backbone (vBNS)
> facility.

> There is broad public interest in the outcome of the negotiations
> between NSF and the companies that will operate the NAPs and
> vBNS. We are writing to ask that NSF consider the following
> objectives in its negotiations with these five firms:


> We are concerned about the future pricing systems for Internet
> access and usage. Many users pay fixed rates for Internet
> connections, often based upon the bandwidth of the connection,
> and do not pay for network usage, such as the transfer of data
> using email, ftp, Gopher or Mosaic. It has been widely reported
> on certain Internet discussion groups, such as com-priv, that the
> operators of the NAPs are contemplating a system of usage based
> pricing.

> We are very concerned about any movement toward usage based
> pricing on the Internet, and we are particularly concerned about
> the future of the Internet Listserves, which allow broad
> democratic discourse on a wide range of issues. We believe that
> the continued existence and enhancement of the Internet
> discussion groups and distribution lists is so important that any
> pricing scheme for the NAPs that would endanger or restrict their
> use should be rejected by the NSF.

> It is important for NSF to recognize that the Internet is more
> than a network for scientific researchers or commercial
> transactions. It represents the most important new effort to
> expand democracy into a wide range of human endeavors. The open
> communication and the free flow of information have make
> government and private organizations more accountable, and
> allowed citizens to organize and debate the widest range of
> matters. Federal policy should be directed at expanding public
> access to the Internet, and it should reject efforts to introduce
> pricing schemes for Internet usage that would mimic commercial
> telephone networks or expensive private network services such as
> MCI mail.

> To put this into perspective, NSF officials must consider how any
> pricing mechanisms will change the economics of hosting an
> Internet electronic mail discussion groups and distribution
> lists. Many of these discussion groups and lists are very large,
> such as Humanist, GIS-L, CNI-Copyright, PACS-L, CPSR-Announce or
> Com-Priv. It is not unusual for a popular Internet discussion
> group to have several thousand members, and send out more than
> 100,000 email messages per day. These discussion groups and
> distribution lists are the backbones of democratic discourse on
> the Internet, and it is doubtful that they would survive if
> metered pricing of electronic mail is introduced on the Internet.

> Usage based pricing would also introduce a wide range of problems
> regarding the use of ftp, gopher and mosaic servers, since it
> conceivable that the persons who provide "free" information on
> servers would be asked to pay the costs of "sending" data to
> persons who request data. This would vastly increase the costs
> of operating a server site, and would likely eliminate many
> sources of data now "published" for free.

> We are also concerned about the types of accounting mechanisms
> which may be developed or deployed to facilitate usage based
> pricing schemes., which raise a number of concerns about personal
> privacy. Few Internet users are anxious to see a new system of
> "surveillance" that will allow the government or private data
> vendors to monitor and track individual usage of Information
> obtained from Internet listserves or fileserves.


> We are also concerned about the potential for anti-
> competitive behavior by the firms that operate the NAPs. Since
> 1991 there have been a number of criticisms of ANS pricing
> practices, and concerns about issues such as price discrimination
> or preferential treatment are likely to become more important as
> the firms operating the NAPs become competitors of firms that
> must connect to the NAPs. We are particularly concerned about
> the announcements by PAC-Bell and Ameritech that they will enter
> the retail market for Internet services, since both firms were
> selected by NSF to operate NAPs. It is essential that the
> contracts signed by NSF include the strongest possible measures
> to insure that the operators of the NAPs do not unfairly
> discriminate against unaffiliated companies.

> Recommendations:

> As the Internet moves from the realm of the research community to
> a more vital part of the nation's information infrastructure, the
> NSF must ensure that its decisions reflect the needs and values
> of a much larger community.

> 1. The NSF contracts with the NAPs operators will include
> clauses that determine how the NAP services will be priced.
> It is important that NSF disclose and receive comment on all
> pricing proposals before they become final. NSF should
> create an online discussion list to facilitate public dialog
> on the pricing proposals, and NSF should identify its
> criteria for selecting a particular pricing mechanism,
> addressing the issue of how the pricing system will impact
> the Internet's role in facilitating democratic debate.

> 2. NSF should create a consumer advisory board which would
> include a broad cross section of consumer interests,
> including independent network service providers (NSPs),
> publishers of Internet discussion groups and distribution
> lists, academic networks, librarians, citizen groups and
> individual users. This advisory board should review a
> number of policy questions related to the operation of the
> Internet, including questions such as the NAP pricing, NAP
> operator disclosure of financial, technical and operational
> data, systems of Internet accounting which are being tested
> on the vBNS and other topics.

> 3. NSF should solicit public comment, though an online
> discussion group, of the types of safeguards against
> anticompetitive behavior by the NAPs which should be
> addressed in the NSF/NAPs contracts, and on issues such as
> NAPs pricing and Internet accounting systems.

> TAP-INFO is an Internet Distribution List provided by the
> Assets Project (TAP). TAP was founded by Ralph Nader to monitor
> management of government property, including information systems
> data, government funded R&D, spectrum allocation and other
> assets. TAP-INFO reports on TAP activities relating to federal
> information policy. tap-info is archived at ftp.cpsr.org;
> gopher.cpsr.org and wais.cpsr.org

> Subscription requests to tap-info to listserver -at- essential -dot- org
> the message: subscribe tap-info your name

> Taxpayer Assets Project; P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
> v. 202/387-8030; f. 202/234-5176; internet: tap -at- essential -dot- org



> Martin Gordon $$ VOICE -> 717-291-3842
> Acquisitions Librarian $$
> Franklin & Marshall College $$ FAX -> 717-291-4160
> P. O. Box 3003 $$
> Lanacaster, Pa. 17604-3003 $$ E-MAIL ->
M_GORDON -at- LIBRARY -dot- FandM -dot- edu


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