ARPA Internet Protocol policy
RFC 902

Document Type RFC - Unknown (July 1984; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                          J. Postel
Request for Comments: 902                                    J. Reynolds
                                                               July 1984

                     ARPA-Internet Protocol Policy

Status of this Memo

   This memo is a policy statement on how protocols become official
   standards for the ARPA-Internet and the DARPA research community.
   This is an official policy statement of the ICCB and the DARPA.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   The purpose of this memo is to explain how protocol standards are
   adopted for the ARPA-Internet and the DARPA research community.
   There are three important aspects to be discussed:  the process, the
   authority, and the complex relationship between the DARPA community
   and the DDN community.  To do this some background must be given and
   some of the players described.

      DARPA = Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
      DDN   = Defense Data Network

The DARPA World

   The DARPA world is headed up by the DARPA office.  DARPA sponsors
   research on many subjects with a number of contractors.  This set of
   contractors is called the "DARPA research community".  DARPA
   typically casts its research efforts into "programs" that involve
   work by several contractors.  One program is the "Internet Program",
   which is researching computer communications issues and constructing
   experimental communication systems.  When the experiments are
   successful, the results are often put into use to support further
   work in the Internet Program and other DARPA research programs.  In
   this way, DARPA developed the ARPANET, SATNET, Packet Radio Networks,
   and the Internet.

   In 1981 DARPA established the Internet Configuration Control Board
   (ICCB) to help manage the DARPA Internet Program.

Postel & Reynolds                                               [Page 1]

RFC 902                                                        July 1984
DARPA Internet Protocol Policy


   The concerns of the ICCB fall into two categories:

      Short Term Issues:

         Keeping the Internet operating as an on-going resource, i.e.,
         dealing with problems that arise due to the growth in the size
         of the system and the level of use of the system.  Sometimes
         this suggests research on new procedures and algorithms, or
         suggests changes to the existing protocols and procedures.
         Sometimes the results of long range research become available
         and their introduction into the current system becomes a short
         term concern.

      Long Term Issues:

         The ICCB also considers communication problems related to the
         Internet more abstractly.  The ICCB suggests to DARPA possible
         research topics and experiments.  The ICCB may act as a
         sounding board for ideas suggested by others.

   DARPA has delegated some aspects of the management of the Internet
   Program and operation of the (experimental) ARPA-Internet for the
   DARPA research community to the ICCB.

   The members of ICCB were chosen to represent a spectrum of interests
   and viewpoints.  The ICCB members are from different organizations,
   their individual backgrounds specialize in different operating
   systems and their viewpoints on computer communication issues are

   The chairman of the ICCB is also the "Internet Architect", and the
   assistant chairman is the "Deputy Internet Architect".  The ICCB
   currently has 12 members. The Internet Architect is Dave Clark of
   MIT, and the Deputy Internet Architect is Jon Postel of ISI.

The DDN World

   The DDN is a communication system for DoD operational use.  It
   integrates many networks and communication systems now used and
   planned within the DoD.  One part of the DDN system is networks that
   are also part of the Internet, specifically MILNET and the networks
   connected to it.

   The DDN is managed by the DDN Program Management Office (DDN-PMO).
   The DDN-PMO sets policy for the use of DDN facilities and enforces
   protocol standards established for use in the DDN networks.

Postel & Reynolds                                               [Page 2]

RFC 902                                                        July 1984
DARPA Internet Protocol Policy

   Within the DoD, there are three protocol committees: the Protocol
   Standard Steering Group (PSSG), the Protocol Standard Technical Panel
   (PSTP), and the Protocol Configuration Control Board (PCCB).  These
   committees have members that represent most elements of the DoD.
   Generally, they develop and recommend guidelines for protocol
   standardization and usage to the DDN-PMO, and to all of the DoD.  The
   PSSG is a policy setting committee for all of DoD on matters of
   protocols standards.
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