The Network Access Identifier
RFC 2486

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (January 1999; Errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 4282
Last updated 2013-03-02
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IESG IESG state RFC 2486 (Proposed Standard)
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Network Working Group                                         B. Aboba
Request for Comments: 2486                                   Microsoft
Category: Standards Track                                   M. Beadles
                                            WorldCom Advanced Networks
                                                          January 1999

                     The Network Access Identifier

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

1.  Abstract

   In order to enhance the interoperability of roaming and tunneling
   services, it is desirable to have a standardized method for
   identifying users.  This document proposes syntax for the Network
   Access Identifier (NAI), the userID submitted by the client during
   PPP authentication. It is expected that this will be of interest for
   support of roaming as well as tunneling.  "Roaming capability" may be
   loosely defined as the ability to use any one of multiple Internet
   service providers (ISPs), while maintaining a formal, customer-vendor
   relationship with only one.  Examples of where roaming capabilities
   might be required include ISP "confederations" and ISP-provided
   corporate network access support.

2.  Introduction

   Considerable interest has arisen recently in a set of features that
   fit within the general category of "roaming capability" for dialup
   Internet users.  Interested parties have included:

        Regional Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating within a
        particular state or province, looking to combine their efforts
        with those of other regional providers to offer dialup service
        over a wider area.

Aboba & Beadles             Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 2486             The Network Access Identifier          January 1999

        National ISPs wishing to combine their operations with those of
        one or more ISPs in another nation to offer more comprehensive
        dialup service in a group of countries or on a continent.

        Businesses desiring to offer their employees a comprehensive
        package of dialup services on a global basis.  Those services
        may include Internet access as well as secure access to
        corporate intranets via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), enabled
        by tunneling protocols such as PPTP, L2F, L2TP, and IPSEC tunnel
        mode.

   In order to enhance the interoperability of roaming and tunneling
   services, it is desirable to have a standardized method for
   identifying users.  This document proposes syntax for the Network
   Access Identifier (NAI).  Examples of implementations that use the
   NAI, and descriptions of its semantics, can be found in [1].

2.1.  Terminology

   This document frequently uses the following terms:

   Network Access Identifier
             The Network Access Identifier (NAI) is the userID submitted
             by the client during PPP authentication.  In roaming, the
             purpose of the NAI is to identify the user as well as to
             assist in the routing of the authentication request.
             Please note that the NAI may not necessarily be the same as
             the user's e-mail address or the userID submitted in an
             application layer authentication.

   Network Access Server
             The Network Access Server (NAS) is the device that clients
             dial in order to get access to the network. In PPTP
             terminology this is referred to as the PPTP Access
             Concentrator (PAC), and in L2TP terminology, it is referred
             to as the L2TP Access Concentrator (LAC).

   Roaming Capability
             Roaming capability can be loosely defined as the ability to
             use any one of multiple Internet service providers (ISPs),
             while maintaining a formal, customer-vendor relationship
             with only one. Examples of cases where roaming capability
             might be required include ISP "confederations" and ISP-
             provided corporate network access support.

Aboba & Beadles             Standards Track                     [Page 2]
RFC 2486             The Network Access Identifier          January 1999

   Tunneling Service
             A tunneling service is any network service enabled by
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