Letter of 28 June 1990 from Douglas E. Van Houweling, Merit Computer Network, to Steve Wolff, Division Director of NCRI, National Science Foundation, regarding the the formation of a not-for-profit corporation by Merit Network, Inc., MCI and IBM to meet the needs of the network community.

Dear Steve:

MERIT, Inc. in anticipation of continued growth of NSFNET and its evolution into a broader infrastructure for the national network, is restructuring its relationship with its partners, MCI and IBM.  As you are aware, that relationship has been implemented by bilateral joint study agreements between MERIT and each partner.

MERIT plans to establish, with its partners, a not-for-profit corporation which will have the objective of meeting the needs of the national network community.  MERIT will then enter into an agreement with this corporation, where as subcontractor to MERIT, it will become the NSFNET backbone service provider in lieu of MERIT.

The equipment, facilities, and services now being provided by MCI and IBM will continue on terms no less favorable than the current joint study agreements, and the parties will mutually agree upon the terms and conditions applicable to levels of support required for future expansion and enhancements to the network.

MERIT believes that this new organization will be able to provide a much needed base for further investment in the network and for service to a broader group of institutions and users.  We are confident that you recognize the need and share our enthusiasm for this new structure, and we request your formal approval of these plans.


Douglas E. Van Houweling