by Darius Kazemi, August 6 2019
RFC-218 is titled “Changing the IMP status reporting facility”. It's authored by Bernie Cosell of BBN and dated September 8th, 1971.
The technical content
This is another warning from BBN that there will be changes made to the IMP. The IMPs send status reports back to BBN, and they are moving fully to a binary blob format for transmission instead of plaintext. They also have hardened their network measurement service so that it doesn't accept control input from random hosts anymore, to “
prevent the Hosts from inadvertently interfering with the operation of the NCC”.
There is mention of “fake host 3” in this RFC. I believe this is a host that could be connected to in order to have network measurements taken for the duration of your connection.
“NCC” is mentioned several times in this document.
I found a reference to a Network Coordination Center but that appears to have been founded in the early 1990s. Clearly the purpose of this center is taking statistical measurements of the IMP network, and it's housed at BBN, but I can't confirm what it stands for. I'll update this if I hear back from BBN folks who are kind enough to respond to my emails.
Update: it stands for “Network Control Center”, also sometimes known as the “Network Operations Center”. Here is an early paper about the Network Control Center, courtesy of BBN alumnus Dave Walden.
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I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm an independent technologist and artist. I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with ActivityPub, including a Node.js reference implementation, an RSS-to-ActivityPub converter, and a fork of Mastodon, called Hometown. You can support my work via my Patreon.