Minutes of an Open Hearing on Network Information Services held at the National Science Foundation on 10 June 1991

NSF Panel: Doug Gale, Don Mitchell, and Steve Wolff.


Ed Albrigo, COS
Aaron Asrael, DGC
Jeffrey Bavy, New York University
Brendan Becker, JVNCNet
Lynn Behnke, Federal Networking
Laura Breeden, FARNet
George Brett, University of North
David Bridge, Smithsonian Institution
Bob Bryer, Wollongong
George Clapp, Ameritech
John Dale, COS
Everett Dowd, Extension Services-USDA
Robert Enger, CONTEL
Mike Fidler, Mitre
Jack Hahn, SURANet
John Hankins, CICNet
Sergio Heker, JVNCNet
Al Hoover, ANS
Rick Huber, AT&T
Laura Kellcher, Merit
Barbara Kurshan, EDUCOM
Brian Lev, NASA
E. Paul Love Jr., GA/CERFNet
Jose-Garcia Luna, SRI
Altie Metcalf, NSF
Butch Mills, Martin Marietta
Gregory Parham, Extension Services-
Chris Peterson, SRI
Don Preuss, NIH
Ken Rossen, Interactive Systems
Karen Roubiecek, BBN
Bill Russell, New York University
Marvin Schoffstall, PSI
William Schrader, PSI
Dana Sitzler, Merit
Sprakash, ATLT
George Strawn, Iowa State University
Ron Toth, AT&T
Taylor Walsh, Research and Education
Networking Newsletter
Russ Wright, LBL
Wengyik Yeong, PSI
Biu Youcik, NASA-GSFC


D. Gale opened the hearing by welcoming everyone and went on to describe the purpose of the hearing, which was to answer questions regarding the NSF's anticipated solicitation for Network Information Services for the domestic portion of the Internet and to invite comments and opinions regarding the needs that an information services architecture should address.  He then quoted from a report submitted to the NSF by EDUCOM in May of 1991 titled "Interim NREN Network Information Services, Report of a Workshop and Interviews":

"In cooperation with the Internet community, the agencies that are part of the Federal Networking Council (FNC) are developing an open and competitive solicitation for Network Information Center (NIC) services to include Internet Registration Services, Directory Services, and Information Services.  These NIC services will provide support for the domestic portion of the Internet and its component NICs.  The services are intended to continue as the Internet evolves to the Interim NREN."

"The development for a solicitation for NIC services is occurring under unusual time pressure because of the nearly simultaneous expiration of contracts for NIC services at the NSFNET Network Support Center (NNSC), (provided by Bolt, Beranek, and Newman), and for NIC services for the Defense Data Network (DDN) and related Internet NIC services (provided by SRI International)."

D. Gale stated that while the meeting would be taped, those tapes would not be transcribed.  Notes would be taken and used to prepare a detailed record of questions and answers as well at to prepare brief minutes that would be distributed to those in attendance and over the Internet. Substantive questions raised in the hearing which are not answered in the specific content of the Project Solicitation will be contained in an addendum to the Project Solicitation.

Comment and Question/Answer Session

A wide variety of opinions were expressed regarding the user services required by the various components of the national research and education community (K-12, individual users, small institutions, etc), the responsibilities of the different network levels (campuses, mid-level networks and the national NIC), and the mechanisms for providing the necessary services.

D. Gale stated that the development of a solicitation was an ongoing process and that  at least one more draft would be circulated on the Internet and comments invited before a final draft was submitted to the Federal Networking Council.  He said that he anticipated that the final draft be completed by late summer, that the solicitation be issued in the Fall of 1991, and an award be made in the Spring, 1992.

Before concluding the hearing, Doug Gale introduced George Strawn of Iowa State University who will become the Program Director for NSFNET on July 1, 1991, and will assume responsibility for continuing the development of a Project Solicitation.  Dr. Strawn can be reached at (202)357-9717 or gstrawn@nsf.gov.