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For the last few days i have been doing research on the proposed NLR I2 merger. The gist of my research is that the merger is potentially a bad deal for NLR. You may find out why by reading the attached pdf or grabbing from the website at the URL below.

go to this web page

url is http://www.internet2-nlr.org/

Grab the NPT Final Report and read

especially sec 2.2.3

3rd paragraph down “using public data…..”

NPT recommendation is for the merged organization to keep both physical network infrastructure (NLR’s owned lit-fiber and I2’s Level3-managed network). If the merged organization can afford both costs and yet not raise prices to the users then this would be fine. However, some think that this would not be possible and in fact the merged organization would have to get rid of one of the 2 networks and that will likely be NLR’s network.

see also tables 1 and 2 on page 13

this table shows why both network infrastructures would be unlikely to survive. Cost savings alone in year one is 12 million by killing NLR I don’t think I2 would be killed


comparative prices. Here you see that if NLR layer-1 network goes away then the users will be facing much higher Internet 2 prices. The table shows a comparison of current prices to the respective user communities. NLR members pay much less than I2 members. The I2 prices under the new Level 3 contract are high and by the time that I 2 overhead is added they become MUCH higher.

I have also learned that the Internet2 board yesterday voted to approve the merger and that the NLR board is scheduled to meet later this week to take a similar vote.

the merger as currently proposed in my opinion would be a disaster that would kill the crown jewel of Network infrastructure in the United States.

4 Responses to “Why the Proposed Merger of NLR and Internet 2 Must Not Happen”

  1. on 29 Aug 2007 at 6:28 pm Anonymous

    With all due respect Mr Cook, there are only a handful of people who actually believe this merger should not happen. Those with this view have a highly parochial stance and are not thinking of our national and global interests. Most believe the merger MUST happen and should have happened about 18 months ago. While having both networks exist for some time is a necessary evil in order to bring together these two organizations - it is an evil that must be overcome and resolved quickly within the merged organization. We, the Higher Education and Research communities, are stronger as one than divided.

    As an elder member of the Higher Education community I have been disappointed with the lack of progress to date on this merger and I truly hope this merger survives all the political mine fields of the next few weeks. Our community will be so much stronger with the new organization than with the bifurcated and wasted resources we currently “enjoy”. This is not just a dollars issue, it is a dollars and “sense” issue.

    To Internet2 and NLR - MERGE NOW! Finish your votes and waive your closing conditions and merge! merge! merge!

  2. on 30 Aug 2007 at 10:16 am Gordon Cook

    Well, well - Mr Anonymous is an elder member of the higher education community and has not the COURAGE to sign his name. The IP number atttached is - according to my friend at the Cernet research center in Beijing from where i am now connected - in the city of Charlotte NC. Hmmmm. Maybe Mike Roberts is visiting Charlotte?

    On a much more serious level I would say that anonymous is absolutely wrong. Internet 2 may be a goood network but quite to the coontary it is in a position to do very little for the national well being of the united states. What it is in a position to do is cause higher ed ever higher expenditures. READ THE REPORT.

    Did you READ the NTP report Mr Anonymous? If not you are shouting slogans. I believe the NLR Board will NOT approve the merger. (For many reasons.)

    NLR has unique and irrecplaceable infrastructure that MUST not be destroyed. Ask LEVEL 3 if they will sell an IRU for a pair of fibers covering their national foot print. They will not sell at any price. Ask your board why the prices that I2 memebers are payiing for their managed services are so much higher than NLR.

    If this merger goes through -NLR will be destroyed. Tell me where does the NTP report justify your cheer leading? Disprove my points!

    (If you can.) Read the parts i cited and tell me how this merger is so GOOD for higher education. I have been hearing for more than two years now that Mr Van Houwelling cannot abide the independent existence of NLR. Well no one is telling him he can’t keep Internet 2…let hiim do so. Let him NOT destroy the best hope that the US has for a public infrastructure.

    I will say more about what i mean by that in about 30 days.

    I have been told by separate sources that the respective chairs of the respective boards prepared and sighed the memorandum restarting the network merger talks WITHOUT informing their boards until after they released the joint document. THAT is a very STRANGE way to play.

    I have published a detailed report on NLR 6 months ago so i know something aboout it. There are quite a few states that have committed public money to NLR. II would hope the board members are considering their fiduciary responssibility to those state members. Why? Because, if they approve the merger AS IT STANDS, NLR will be dead with 12 to 24 months. I hope they are consiidering whether they have adequate insurancee to protect them from the lawsuits that will follow.

    Dear MR Elder member of Hiigher Education Networks. Please respond with documented facts and not with slogans. They taught me at Duke where I got my PhD in 1972 to cite sources. In my first post I did. Here I include a bit more that is confidential.

    Your turn –

    Facts not slogans please.

  3. on 14 Sep 2007 at 3:39 pm David Devereaux-Weber

    I’m speaking for myself, this is not an official communication of my employer (The University of Wisconsin-Madison).

    I’ve done a lot of work with dark fiber and have some understanding of the value of df. My employer is a member of both I2 and NLR. I am strongly in favor of the merger. Both NLR and I2 value the df infrastructure of NLR, and I don’t think a merged organization would squander that asset. I think that the window for df has come close to closing, compared to the 2000 era. In addition to the direct value of df it is also a great bargaining tool with telecom lit circuit vendors.

    One aspect of my work is uncompressed high definition television, which consumes 1.5 Gbps. Our group did a demonstration of 3 channels of uncompressed HD in 2005 with enpoints in Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Seattle, San Diego, Ann Arbor and Madison. I appreciate the value of high bandwidth, and appreciate the meaning of geometric growth. (See http://www.dtc.umn.edu/mints/ to see the growth of Internet traffic.)

    In order for us (the higher education community or the global community) to continue to meet the need for increasing capacity, we will need to continue to embrace extraordinary methods and continually rebuild our networks. In order to support geometric growth in capacity while limiting increases in cost, we need to do research in technology and automation of processes to allow the same number of technical staff to support more users and bandwidth. The research work performed on both the I2 and NLR networks is crucial to that ongoing goal. We can not afford destructive competition between those networks. We need to work diligently to ensure the survival of both networks. (Gordon Cook - I agree.) I think this is best accomplished by the merger. (Gordon Cook - I disagree.)


  4. […] The predominant membership of both NLR and I2 are an overlapping set of about 200 college and universities. For nearly three years now some of the members of both networks have bemoaned the “problem” that higher education is being asked to underwrite two sets of presumably duplicative high speed network infrastructure. On again off again merger discussions have led to some strange results that I have recently documented in my blog. […]

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