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education, NREN, CalREN

The National Information Infrastructure


Education is a big subject. These pages are primarily concerned with NREN (the National Research and Education Network), CalREN, and other research networks.

CPSR has a long history as advocates for privacy rights.

At a hearing in July '92 before the National Commission on Library and Information Science, CPSR recommended a privacy policy for the NREN. Marc Rotenberg, CPSR's Washington Director, offered this testimony.

Gordon Cook drafted a policy assessment for the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). His comments in June, '93, shed light on an alarming insight:
	After observing the first 5 months of the new administration, 
	I am quite discouraged that, apart from discussions on the 
	net and efforts by the EFF, there is no really significant 
	policy debate taking place in Washington on the future of 
	the national data superhighway.
This is his '92 Policy Draft on the NREN: Whom Shall It Serve?

In Dec. '90, Steve Cisler, Senior Scientist with the Apple Computer Library, stated that:

	For the past few years the higher education community, 
	including many librarians, have been advocating a strong 
	federal role in the funding of a high capacity research 
	and education network. Many programs at the 1990 ALA 
	conference were devoted to this subject, and Meckler
	Publishing even has a newsletter devoted solely to the 
	topic. For more information see recent LITA Newsletter, 
	EDUCOM Review, or the June 1990, issue of Wilson Library 
	Bulletin. John Markoff frequently writes about this 
	subject in the New York Times.
His article discusses two meetings to those following the development of the NREN.

James Milles, of the Saint Louis University Law Library, compiled a guide in Feb '93 about Individual Access to Internet, which has 5 parts:

  • Public Dialup Internet Access List (PDIAL)
  • Network Provider Referral List, NSF Network Service Center (NNSC),
  • Limited Referral List, Network Providers for Low-Volume Users, NNSC
  • internet-access-providers-us.txt
  • nixpub long listing--Open Access UNIX (*NIX) Sites

With a sense of humor, Greg Chartrand offered this parody of the NREN.

This file about Libraries and the National Research and Education Network contains the text of six short pieces and a longer discussion paper prepared for the American Library Association confernce in June 1990. They include perspectives from different types of libraries:

  • "Developing the Information Superhighway" by Edwin Brownrigg
  • "A Public Library Perspective" by Lois Kershner
  • "The National Research and Education Network For Special Libraries" by Steve Cisler
  • "Electronic Networking at Davis Senior High School" by Janet Meizel
  • "Free-neting" by T.M. Grundner
  • "Electronic Networking for California State and Public Libraries" by Gary Strong, Kathy Hudson, and John Jewell
Finally, there is a piece by Dr. Vinton Cerf of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives entitled "Thoughts on the National Research and Education Network" that appeared in July 1990 as RFC 1167 for the Internet community.

These papers plus a different one by Dr. Cerf, and other useful documents appear in the LITA publication LIBRARY PERSPECTIVES ON NREN, edited by Carol A. Parkhurst. (ISBN 0-8389-7477-5) Buy it from LITA Publications, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602. Please cite this publication if you re-distribute all or part of this collection.

The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy submitted this report to Congress in Dec. '92. The report addresses six specific issues:

  • effective mechanisms for providing operating funds for the maintenance and use of the Network, including user fees, industry support, and continued Federal investment;
  • the future operation and evolution of the Network;
  • how commercial information service providers could be charged for access to the Network, and how Network users could be charged for such commercial information services;
  • the technological feasibility of allowing commercial information service providers to use the Network and other federally funded research networks;
  • how to protect copyrights of material distributed over the Network; and
  • appropriate policies to ensure the security of resources available on the Network and to protect the privacy of users of networks.

From the Office of Inspector General, National Science Foundation, this is a Review of NSFNET done in Mar. '93.


CalREN, the California Research and Education Network, is Pacific Bell's program to stimulate applications development and utilization while building the information superhighway.

ATMs: Asynchronous Transfer Modes

A Brief Tutorial on ATM by Zahir Ebrahim, March 5, 1992.

AT&T's announcement that it is now operating the nation's fastest wide area Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Network over fully optical links.

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