Director's Message

The 40th meeting of the IETF was held in Washington, DC, from December 8-12, 1997. Newbridge Networks graciously served as the "local" host (I typed local within quotes as they all flew in from Canada).

This meeting was well attended with 1,897 registered attendees which is the second largest attended meeting in the IETF's history! The percentage of non-US attendees also rose to just over 25%, a significant increase over past meetings where the percentage has hovered around 20%.

What was amazing is that it didn't feel like the second largest meeting. The OMNI Shorham was a perfect site for the meeting as they had enough rooms of sufficient size to accommodate all the IETF Working Group and BOF meetings. Of course, the Hall of Christmas Trees provided a nice place to stroll between meetings.

Trademark Dispute

The plenary session opened with a presentation by Bob Kahn (CNRI) and Don Heath (ISOC) on the current status of the Internet Trademark Dispute. The presentation includes a step-by-step history of both organizations' efforts to convince the Patent Trademark Office to cancel the registration of Internet, Inc. for the term Internet. CNRI and ISOC requested that the term "Internet" be freely used by anyone to refer to the Internet, as we know it technically, and as it has become widely known to the public.

Optical Internet

Another set of presentation slides available in these proceedings are from Joe Touch of ISI. Joe presented a summary report of the Optical Internet Workshop held two months earlier (October 1998) in Arlington, Virginia. The report included a summary of optical networking, a summary of the Internet, and then worked to see how to integrate the two by examining the economics, the issues, and the gaps that currently exist (and might be filled by optical networks). Joe mentioned there would be another workshop sometime in 1998. His presentation slides include pointers for those who wish to find out more about this effort.


I would like to thank Newbridge Networks for hosting the 40th meeting of the IETF by providing the terminal room facilities, and arranging the social event. I would especially like to recognize the efforts of Louis Martin and Susan Lewis of Newbridge who worked around the clock to support the attendees. None of this would have been possible without the commitment of Jim Mackie, VP of Newbridge.

The configuration of the terminal room facilities depends a great deal on the generosity of equipment vendors and service providers, and I want to thank the following organizations for their contributions and assistance:

Bell Atlantic

local loop connection

Boise Cascade

paper and transparencies


encoding/decoding of MPEG


printers and workstations


Internet backbone

Silicon Graphics

video server

Sun Microsystems


Once again, Matt Thomas helped extend the network even further by distributing Digital's wireless LAN links for a number of laptop computers!

Of course, thanks go out to Evi Nemeth and her band of hungry graduate students who operated the multicast stations for the Washington IETF meeting. Evi has provided this service to the IETF since the first Los Angeles meeting (March 1996). More recently, she has contributed to the Newcomers' orientation by sharing local discoveries (good restaurants, the closest computer supply stores, etc).

Upcoming Meetings

The 1998 spring meeting is in Los Angeles, California the week of March 30-April 3. The IETF then travels to Chicago, Illinois where Motorola will host the IETF from August 23-28. Microsoft will be hosting the final 1998 meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Arrangements are still in progress for the first meeting of 1999, but don't forget that the summer meeting will be held in Oslo, Norway.

For information about future meetings, visit the IETF Web Page. Our URL is

Steve <>

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