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[ih] Who Paid for the Internet? (was Re: sad news: Peter Kirstein)

Dear Jack,

On 11/01/2020 19:04, Jack Haverty via Internet-history wrote:
> There's probably a PhD thesis or two to be done in that early-Internet
> arena - Who Paid For The Internet?

As a network of networks, you'll find that every network connecting will
have been supported in a different way.

Peter Kirstein's piece in http://nrg.cs.ucl.ac.uk/internet-history.html
jogged my mind, when it came to the International links outside the UK.
Back in 1988 the three main links for email outside the UK's JANET
network were:

a. UCL's JANET-Internet Gateway
Original name: uk.ac.ucl.cs.nss - which connected to the Nasa Science
Network via Satellite. I have no clue who paid the bill for the
satellite link, but back then it was assumed by many of us using the
link, that the traffic generated by the gateway was so small, it meant a
speck of dust compared all of its other traffic. But it was monitored
closely, at least on the US side, as Peter Yee (NASA) is credited with
being on the first people pointing out being attacked by an Internet
Virus (RTM worm in 88).
See Janet's 30 years paper that provides for interesting reading.
- I guess that was all paid for by UK Government

b. UKACRL.bitnet - the Rutherford Appleton Labs uk.ac.earn-gateway -
again here, no idea who was paying the bills. the JANET side was
obviously paid for by the Joint Network Team (JNT) which was essentially
the UK Government. I suspect the gateway was also paid for by the UK
Government as part of the Lab's nuclear research grant.

c. UKC UUCP Gateway - The UUCP gateway at the University of Kent at
Canterbury. It was impossible to send email out via this gateway if your
site was not registered with UKC. Incoming email through this route
would trigger an email sent to me telling me "A message has been
received for you. Please contact xxx to arrange for delivery of this
message". I think that later, it mentioned who the sender was so I could
email the sender to tell them to route via @uunet.uu.net or
@decwrl.dec.com or @uucp.sun.com or @cunyvm.cuny.edu should incoming be
via UKACRL --- all of the "free" paths.

I suppose that back then many of us users didn't ask "who is paying for
it". It was pretty much a "well, I am not, but someone else obviously
is". Of course when acceptable use policies came into effect, many
people found out the real costs.

Kindest regards,