EARN BOD 02 84

EARN Document

Title:      Minutes of Board of Directors meeting July 9, 1984

Author(s):  G Gallois

Date:       1984/7/9

Committee:  Board of Directors


Revision:   0


Status:     Final

Maintainer: Board of Directors

Access:     Board of Directors


Memorandum to: H O Aagaard

Prof. Bauknecht

P Bryant

A Cohen

B Carlsson

H Hultzch

J C Ippolito

D Lord

L Mate

J Nuyens

S Trumpy

Cc:            D Jennings

L Arosenius

A Auroux

J L Becerril

H F Budd

A Dobrzynski

A Fusi

C A Heritier

B Kirchner

M Rimon

P Rodier

C Setford

J Teylhoy

G Weets

EARN Meeting May 14, 1984


1 Opening (H Budd/IBM)

Herb Budd of IBM Europe welcomed the participants to the second EARN meeting in the IBM France Scientific Centre.

He pointed that the EARN project is now roughly 18 months old. The main purpose of the meeting, after having reviewed the present status of the network, will be to establish a governing body for the user’s association.

It is important that the elected governing body meet with CEPT (Committee of European Post and Telecommunication) to obtain their support for the network.

2 Report on meeting with CEPT and major events since last meeting (A Auroux/IBM)

Alain Auroux presented the proposed agenda for the meeting. He mentioned that all countries, except Israel and Denmark, are represented at the meeting. Mr. Mate, being unable to attend, asked Mr. Becerill to represent Spain. Then he gave briefly the status of the EARN international backbone. Two new countries are joining the EARN members, Belgium and Denmark.

The link to BITNET is working but the installation of other international lines is delayed by PTTs, waiting for the CEPT recommendation.

When installed, hopefully in June 1984, this will mean 9 countries linked to EARN:

France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K.

The two new countries (Belgium, Denmark) will join the network within the July-September time frame.

As to the CEPT-EARN relationship, the participants to the CEPT meeting early April gave to Mr. Toutan (chairman of the “Telecommunications” Commission) the mandate to discuss EARN in order to have a common, international position.

On May 4, a meeting was held in Paris between Messrs. T Hubner (CSTD permanent nucleus coordinater located in Copenhagen), B Rouxeville (CEPT Secretary), M Toutan (Chairman of the Commission), H Zimmermann (French expert on network – OSI), A Auroux, H Budd, M Humbert of IBM Europe.

The CEPT insisted on having the meeting with IBM before the May 14th users meeting (this meeting) in order to allow IBM to present CEPT position during that meeting.

The CEPT presented the following points:

(1) Protocols.

CEPT would like all new data networks, including EARN, to use OSI protocols as much as possible (including the already defined applications such as message handling).

(2) Use of public data network.

CEPT wants the EARN users to be connected through public switched data networks (X25), particularly for the international links.

(3) Tariffs.

CEPT would like to apply a kind of volume dependent charging.

IBM gave the reasons of the todays technical choices (leased lines, non OSI protocols) and pointed out that the further contacts will take place directly between users and CEPT.

The CEPT representatives pointed out that CEPT cannot make decisions but recommendations to the national PTTs.

The May 4 discussion resulted in a letter in French sent by CEPT summarizing the meeting and requesting on the 3 points that:

-1- the move in the OSI direction be completed by the end of 1987,

-2- the same target date will apply to the use of public switched networks,

-3- a volume dependent charging be negotiated with the users.

Mr. Hubner is the CEPT contact.

Herb Budd requested that the CEPT send a representative to the May 14 EARN users meeting, in order to present the CEPT view to the EARN users directly. No CEPT representative attended the meeting.

The agenda of the CEPT different meetings is the following:

May 23/24 25th CEPT anniversary

June 21/22 CSTD group on tariffs (B Rouxeville responsibility)

June 20/27 Commission T (Mr. Toutan. Chairman – Mr. Rouxeville and Mr. Hubner will report).

It is important that official contacts between EARN users and CEPT would take place as soon as possible and in any case before the June meetings.

3 Countries Status


The central node will be in Brussels and will be connected to HEC (France). The network is expected to group 7 universities and 2 research centers.


The Danish want to join us quickly. The network will be linked from Copenhagen to Darmstadt and will group 4 universities at the beginning. The line to Darmstadt will be ordered in June.


VM is running on the 4 nodes. The communications between HEC-Mines-Normale are under test. The CNUSC will be connected to HEC in May.


The network is running for five weeks; difficulties exist only in the Stuttgart to Karlsruhe link.

Some measurements of traffic is under way. The network includes 40 nodes (machines) in 30 locations.

As to charging for the international communications, PTT ask for a volume dependent rate with a maximum rate corresponding to three times the cost of leased line.

Negotiations about the maximum rate are under way. Two different opinions exist. The volume charging could cover:

– all data going through the international line.

– the data on the international line going to or coming from switched ends.

Some participants express the view that negotiations with national authority could be damaging to international negotiations and that it must be emphasized that EARN is a non-commercial network and must benefit from a low cost tariff.


The leased line Dublin-Rutherford has been ordered but its installation depends on the British decision about charging. Today there is no volume charge in Ireland.

Two nodes will be in operation soon and 20-21 nodes are expected.


No computer installation has been needed in Sweden but only an interface with the Swedish University Network (SUNET) which covers 6 universities/regions (3 have IBM  equipments). Software for an RSCS interface to VAX is needed.


The only line activated is the line Rome to Cuny; the other lines are physically here and may be activated any time.

Internal networks includes lines between Roma Scientific Center and Bari, Roma, Pisa (CNUCE), Bologna.

As soon as connections are activated, a certain number of nodes will be activated.

The nodes pertaining to CNUCE are of two different kinds: Universities (like Palermo, Frascati, Firenze, Milano, Torino) and Institutes which belong to CNR (National Council for Research).

No question has been raised on tariff.


The line between Madrid and Roma was ordered in December 1983 and is expected to be installed in May 1984.

The network will include soon 4 nodes, 5 additional nodes are in discussion or planned.

The PTT have no specific plan for tariffs.


The node machine is installed in CERN. Three international lines have been ordered to Darmstadt (Germany), HEC (France), RAL (U.K.).

The association of Swiss Universities is interested in EARN and the connection will be in two phases, one immediately, the other one in the first half of 1985. The phase 1 connection will be mainly through leased lines, the phase 2 being more through switched network.

The PTT do not want to put in activity lines until CEPT resolution of the different questions.

United Kingdom

The line to CERN will be available in June-July.

A volume tariff similar to the German one is proposed.

BT seems satisfied about the connection of JANET to EARN and the users have the support of Dept of Education and Science.

BT is waiting for the recommendation of CEPT.

4 Relations with CEPT

After all countries have expressed their views, the following consensus has been expressed:

– negotiations with CEPT should take place as soon as possible.

– from a long term view, the use of X25 is possible, but not today.

In order for European universities to be “competitive” with US ones, they must have reasonable tariffs.


At the opening of the afternoon’s session, it is suggested to come immediately to the election of the chairman of the board and the name of Dennis Jennings is proposed.

The nomination by Hagen Hultsch (Germany) of Dennis Jennings as chairman of the BOD is unanimously accepted.

5 Strategy with regard to CEPT

The discussion again turned to the negotiations with CEPT. Dennis Jennings thinks that a special meeting between CEPT and several user representatives has to take place.

Hagen Hultsch could assist him in that meeting and possibly Stefano Trumpy if he is available. All those willing to participate must make themselves known to Dennis Jennings.

IBM will not participate in this first meeting.

The conclusion of the discussion on the position to take with respect to CEPT in the Following.

“to agree to move towards X25 and OSI but ask for a volume independent charges”.

In order to negotiate on the charges we need to give figures that we obviously do not have today. IBM will make attempt to provide information.

Finally the participants agree to the position:

– “Inform CEPT about our intentions concerning switched networks (X25). In exchange PTT must accept not to block the start of the EARN network.

– In a further phase, discuss on the tariffs after establishing the appropriate models”.

6 News from BITNET (Ira Fuchs)

Ira Fuchs then made a brief presentation on the status of BITNET.

BITNET now includes 175 nodes in 59 institutions. The Canadian universities will be connected. An X25 gateway is under study.

The Network Information Center is progressing with the help of IBM. David Lord raised the question of the reactions of BITNET members towards EARN.

Ira Fuchs points that BITNET is seen by its members as a communications network as open as possible.

7 EARN Charter

Dennis Jennings presented two different drafts of the EARN charter (numbered EARN 001 and EARN 002).

The discussion centered on the definition of membership and the “two class” approach.

Several questions were raised:

– the definition of Academic in “academic research institutions”; is it not too restrictive?

– the difficulty to determine what is class A and class B.

Reference is made to BITNET and Ira Fuchs specifies that, for BITNET, class A covers Universities, Junior Colleges and Universities managed Laboratories. Class B covers any other type.

There is the need of a sponsor for class B membership and the connections are reviewed every year.

As an example Ira Fuchs provides the text defining the membership in the BITNET charter.

David Lord proposed a definition concerning class A and class B:

– Class A will cover all entities funded by government public sector.

– Class B will cover all non profit entities funded by private sector.

Dennis Jennings asks that all comments and suggestions on the two drafts and all other questions related with EARN charter be sent to him before the 4th of June.

8 Organisation of EARN governing bodies

As an example Ira Fuchs states that BITNET has five committees.

– Membership

– Measurement and Technology Protocols – Statistics

– Standards

– Services

– Executive Committee.

The later committee comprises the members having more than 4 connections. At the present time 8 nodes satisfy this criteria.

On the question of EARN membership Dennis Jennings proposes that it is left, for the present time, to every national group. Until the charter is adopted the membership applications must be accepted if they reasonably satisfy to conditions settled in the drafts.

It is also suggested to have an Information center.

Finally it is decided to have the following organization:

Board of Directors

Chairman: Dennis Jennings

Having meeting twice a year. It is the management and deciding body reviewing working groups projects.

Working groups:

CEPT Liaison Committee                       Chairman: H Hultsch

Applications Committee                       Chairman: H F Budd

Standards Committee                          Chairman: D Lord

Technical Coordination Committee             Chairman: P E Bryant

Promotion, Information Center Committee      Chairman: J C Ippolito/

J L Delhaye

The next BOD meeting will take place on Tuesday 4 September, unless crisis, in Roma.

The iBM National Delegates and IBM Europe will be invited.

G Gallois

  1. Participants

June 4, 1984