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access to the CIX

  • From: Jeff.Ogden
  • Date: Tue Jan 04 06:59:00 1994

Some of you may remember some messages last spring and a
discussion at the Merit Joint User and Joint Technical Staff
meetings talking about access to and from the CIX: Commerical
Internet Exchange. Basically at that time MichNet did not have
access to organizations connected via the CIX because those
organizations felt that they were commercial and so did not
meet the NSFNET Conditions of Use policy that requires traffic
over NSFNET to be in support of research and education. Later
some changes were made that allowed access from MichNet and
other networks to and from the CIX. Still later (November '93)
the CIX installed filtering so that MichNet and other non-CIX
member traffic is blocked. They would be happy to remove the
filters if MichNet would join the CIX and pay $10,000 a year.
This puts Merit/MichNet in an awkward position. It is the CIX
that is blocking access and not us. Viewed one way it is
backmail. Viewed another the other CIX members have all paid
$10K to support the CIX, so why should Merit/MichNet get access
without paying the $10K?
It is not clear just what organizations and hosts are available
via the CIX. Many organizations are connected to multiple
networks and so while we don't have access to them via the CIX
we do have access via other paths over NSFNET. In fact when the
CIX starting blocking access in Nov. some networks asked to
have themselves announced via NSFNET to avoid the CIX and so
continue access. I don't know for sure, but I've heard guesses
that there are perhaps 100 or so networks that are only
available via the CIX.
The last time we talked about this I asked everyone if we
should pay the $10K to join the CIX and to give everyone
attached to MichNet access to the CIX connected hosts. What
people said back last spring was:
   1) we are not getting requests from our users for access to the CIX,
   2) before we can really answer this we'd need a better idea of just 
      what organizations are served by the CIX,
   3) and no, at least for now we don't think Merit should pay $10K
      a year for access to the CIX.
The Merit Board agreed when this was informally discussed.
Now that a year has gone by, I'd like to know if people feel the same way
or differently.  Is anyone getting requests for CIX access?  Is the lack
of CIX access causing problems?
  -Jeff Ogden
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