Internet Access within Westnet


This document provides details pertinent to obtaining Internet access within the Westnet region. The Westnet region encompasses the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and the southern half of Idaho. Westnet is an unincorporated association that coordinates networking among the individual states within the region, wherein there are two formal, incorporated state networks: Colorado SuperNet, and New Mexico Technet. In the other Westnet states, there are unincorporated state networking associations. Generally, it is through these state networking entities that connections to the Internet within Westnet are accomplished.

The philosophy of Westnet is to deploy networking within the region to the widest extent, and at the lowest possible cost, to the greatest public good. The Westnet community believes that networking is an enabling technology, and provides the greatest benefit when in the hands of the users. To this extent, Westnet maintains an extremely "lean" operation, and relies heavily on the spirit of cooperation fostered over the years with its many sites. Westnet's goal is to maintain a network infrastructure that is ubiquitous, egalitarian and frugal.

Westnet Management

Westnet is a joint project of Colorado State University, which serves a management role, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, which provides technical expertise. Westnet is managed by Dr. Pat Burns of Colorado State University. This management encompasses several responsibilities:
  1. carrying out the policy established by the Westnet Steering Committee, which governs Westnet,
  2. interacting with federal agencies,
  3. entering into regional agreements with service providers (such as CIX and ANS for commercial traffic) and vendors such as Cisco Systems, Inc. (for maintenance for the Westnet point-of-presence routers), and
  4. billing, ordering and tracking equipment and circuits.
The management contact information is:
Dr. Pat Burns, Westnet
Academic Computing and Network Services
601 South Howes
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(303) 491-7260

Information may also be obtained from:

Ms. Diana Rose, Westnet
Academic Computing and Network Services
601 South Howes
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(303) 491-1577

Westnet NOC

SEE Contacting Westnet FOR DETAILS

Westnet provides a Network Operations Center (NOC), which monitors circuits, accomplishes routing, interacts with federal networking agencies such as MERIT (which runs the NSFNet backbone), and provides technical coordination among the sites within the region. The Westnet NOC also tests new technologies (such as SMDS and Frame Relay), and plans for their deployment. In general, the Westnet NOC is responsible for the performance and the reliability of the network within the region. The Westnet NOC also provides general technical assistance to the sites within Westnet. The Westnet Network Engineer is:
Mr. Chris Garner, Westnet
Computing and Network Services
3645 Marine Street
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0455
(303) 492-5860

The technical manager of Westnet is Mr. David C. M. Wood, who functions part time. Mr. Wood may be contacted at:

Mr. David C. M. Wood, Westnet
Computing and Network Services
3645 Marine Street
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0455
(303) 492-4905

Internet Access and Connections

Internet access within Westnet is accomplished within the individual states, sometimes through the state networking entities, and sometimes through individual sites. We address these on a case by case basis, by state.

Internet access of two types may be accomplished: (1) via a dedicated connection where the network is brought to your site, or (2) via dial-in. A dedicated connection requires that your site have a router which is connected to a Westnet router through a dedicated connection (usually a digital circuit). Dedicated connections may be at various speeds, ranging from very slow speed access through modems running at 14,400 baud over an ordinary phone circuit, or at higher speeds through a digital circuit. Dedicated connections are appropriate when a number of people wish simultaneous access to the Internet. To summarize the connection speeds and capabilities, speeds and technology, we provide the table below.

Table 1: Direct connection types and technologies.

Speed              Data Rate      Type of Circuit     Users (approx)
---------------   -----------   --------------------  --------------
Very slow speed    14,400 bps   ordinary phone line           1 - 12
Slow speed         56,000 bps   56 kbps digital               4 - 40
High Speed         1.544 Mbps   T-1 digital              100 - 1,000
Very High Speed       10 Mbps   TLS                    1000 - 10,000
Number of users varies greatly depending on type of uses network is put to. The higher estimate covers email, usenet, and telnet (i.e. lower bandwidth text based services). The lower estimate is the number of users using graphical interfaces, such as the world wide web (http). Generally, direct connections are made to the state backbone nodes. In Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, the state backbones are interconnected at T-1 speeds, ensuring good network access. Below, we describe how connections are accomplished in individual states.

Dial-in connections of a variety of types are possible, including simple terminal access (this is the "old" manner of dialing in via an asynchronous modem, and is usually used to access a computer on the network), SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol), PPP (Point to Point Protocol), or uucp.

Westnet Connectivity in Member States

Last Update: 1994/08/09 16:59:01 GMT