Fragments - The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 9, Number 4

Bob Braden and Joyce K. Reynolds receive the 2006 Postel Service Award

Bob Braden and Joyce K. Reynolds are this year's recipients of the Internet Society's prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award. The award was presented "For their stewardship of the RFC (Request for Comments) series that enabled countless others to contribute to the development of the Internet." The presentation was made by Internet pioneer Steve Crocker (a member of this year's Postel award committee and author of the very first RFC) during the 67th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in San Diego, California.

The award is named after Dr. Jonathan B. Postel to commemorate his extraordinary stewardship exercised over the course of a thirty year career in networking. Between 1971 and 1998, Postel managed, nurtured and transformed the RFC series of notes created by Steve Crocker in 1969. Postel was a founding member of the Internet Architecture Board and the first individual member of the Internet Society, where he also served as a trustee.

"It is a pleasure and an honor for the Internet Society to recognize the contribution of Bob and Joyce to the evolution of the Internet," said Crocker. "Since its humble beginnings, the RFC series has developed into a set of documents widely acknowledged and respected as a cornerstone of the Internet standards process. Bob and Joyce have participated in this evolution for a very long time and have been primarily responsible for ensuring the quality and consistency of the RFCs since Jon's death in 1998."

Joyce K. Reynolds worked closely with Postel, and together with Bob Braden she has been co-leader of the RFC Editor function at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) since 1998. In this role she performed the final quality control function on most RFC publications. Reynolds has also been a member of the IETF since 1988, and she organized and led the User Services area of the IETF from 1988 to 1998. In her User Services role, she was an international keynote speaker and panelist in over 90 conferences around the world, spreading the word on the Internet.

Bob Braden, who has more than 50 years of experience in the computing field, joined the networking research group at ISI in 1986. Since then, he has been supported by NSF for research concerning NSFnet and the DETER security testbed, and by DARPA for protocol research. Braden came to ISI from UCLA, where he had technical responsibility for attaching the first supercomputer (IBM 360/91) to the ARPAnet, beginning in 1970. Braden was active in the ARPAnet Network Working Group, contributing to the design of the FTP protocol in particular. He also edited the Host Requirements RFCs and co-chaired the RSVP working group.

The Jonathan B. Postel Service Award was established by the Internet Society (ISOC) to honor those who, like Postel, have made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The award is focused on sustained and substantial technical contributions, service to the community, and leadership. With respect to leadership, the nominating committee places particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own specific actions.

Previous recipients of the Postel Award include Jon himself (posthumously and accepted by his mother), Scott Bradner, Daniel Karrenberg, Stephen Wolff, Peter Kirstein, Phill Gross and Jun Murai. The award consists of an engraved crystal globe and $20,000.

ISOC is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. With offices in Washington, DC, and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. ISOC is the organizational home of the IETF and other Internet-related bodies who together play a critical role in ensuring that the Internet develops in a stable and open manner. For over 14 years ISOC has run international network training programs for developing countries and these have played a vital role in setting up the Internet connections and networks in virtually every country connecting to the Internet during this time.

First Internet Governance Forum Meeting Concludes

The inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) took place in Athens, Greece from October 30 – November 2, 2006. For more information see:

The Government of Brazil will host the next IGF meeting. It will take place in Rio de Janeiro November 12 – 15, 2007.

ARIN to Provide 4-Byte AS Numbers

On August 30, 2006, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) Board of Trustees, based on the recommendation of the Advisory Council and noting that the Internet Resource Policy Evaluation Process had been followed, adopted the following policy proposal: "2005-9: 4-Byte AS Number."

Per the implementation schedule contained in the policy (Number Resource Policy Manual [NRPM] Section 5.1), commencing January 1, 2007, ARIN will process applications that specifically request 32- bit AS Numbers.

[Ed. See also: "Exploring Autonomous System Numbers," by Geoff Huston in The Internet Protocol Journal, Volume 9, No. 1, March 2006.]

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the TCP/IP Internet Standards

Two of the core protocols that define how data is transported over the Internet are now 25 years old. The Internet Protocol (IP) and the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), together known as "TCP/IP," were formally standardized in September 1981 by the publication of RFC 791 and RFC 793.

Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn are widely credited with the design of TCP/IP, and many others involved in the ARPANET project made significant contributions. The core of the documents was RFC 675, published in December 1974 by Cerf together with co-authors Carl Sunshine and Yogen Dalal. The subsequent sequence of documents leading up to RFC 791 and 793 benefited from the participation of many people including Dave Clark, Jon Postel, Bob Braden, Ray Tomlinson, Bill Plummer, and Jim Mathis, as well as other unnamed contributors to the definition and implementation of what became the Internet's core protocols.

"We can't yet say that the Internet is mature," says Brian Carpenter, chair of the IETF, "but it's a great tribute to its pioneers that the two most basic specifications that were published a quarter of a century ago are still largely valid today. I hope the IP version 6 standard will do as well."

The Request For Comments (RFC) series, which was launched in 1969 by Steve Crocker at UCLA (and edited for many years by the late Jon Postel), continues today as the public archive of the Internet's fundamental technology. Since 1977 it has been hosted by The University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (ISI). ARPA support ended in 1998, at which time ISOC took over providing funding for the publication of Internet standards. More recently, ISOC extended its support to include other areas critical to the open development of Internet standards.

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