Can of worms...

Fri, 11 Sep 1987 10:50 MDT

The following message opens up an extremely touchy subject on this
forum. I am bringing it up here because I am looking for a relatively
"easy-to-implement" alternate *technical* solution to the problem
which will work in the present TCP/IP environment and in the future
ISO environment.

The Communications Services Industrial Fund (CSIF) of DCA has been
tasked to implement a usage-sensitive chargeback only for hosts
connected to the MILNET backbone in the very near future. The
problem is that the method chosen is probably the easiest to implement
in that only PSN code is involved and no host code changes are
required. However, it is the least equitable: simply charge each host
for all the traffic it originates and all traffic in both directions
from a TAC port. The host is also charged for connect time on dialup
TAC ports. No such chargeback is being planned for ARPANET hosts.

When this scheme is in place, we will probably have to drop our
popular services, such as hosting large mailing lists, ANONYMOUS FTP
access to our very large public domain collections, and TAC access by
our regular users. With no reason to remain directly connected to the
MILNET backbone, we will then move our connection to the other side of
our gateway to further reduce costs. Given the cost figures based on
our current traffic, (heresy follows:) it might even be more
economical to extend our own net using high-speed dialup ala USENET,
BITNET, etc...

However, it might be possible to create a fair, and therefore,
tolerable, chargeback algorithm. It requires a further extension to
the AHIP-E protocol and possibly only "trivial" changes to certain
host software. To make things equitable, charge the host for all
traffic it generates in BOTH directions of a connection it originates.
However, (here's the hard part) allow for "collect call" connections
to be made and not accumulate charges until the remote host has
accepted the call. It seems that part of this mechanism already
exists for MILNET TACs in that all traffic is to be charged to each
connected host on a connection by connection basis.

This alternative would seem to take care of the large mailing list
problem in that those messages would be sent collect. ANONYMOUS FTP
connections would be charged to the calling host. That leaves TAC
access. It would be more economical to open up and add more
direct-dial ports to our systems, or put TACs on the other side of
gateway hosts, than allow TAC dialup access from a MILNET TAC port.

OK, given all that, the only real questions I have for this list are:
is it possible to extend the AHIP-E protocol to allow for a collect
call to be passed to the remote host, and what would it take to get it
implemented and tested in the next year or so?


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