RFC 263 (rfc263) - Page 1 of 2


"Very Distant" Host interface



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Network Working Group                             A. McKenzie
Request for Comments #263                         BBN
NIC #7811                                         17 December 1971
Categories:  B.1, C.2, I.1
Updates:  none
Obsoletes:  none

                     "VERY DISTANT" HOST INTERFACE

     The normal method of connecting a Host computer to the ARPA
Network is, and will continue to be, placing an IMP at the Host
site and making a short-distance hard-wire connection.  However,
during the past several months we have become increasingly aware
of the occasional desire to interface a Host to some IMP via a
long-distance connection (where long-distance, in this context,
is any cable run longer than 2000 feet but may typically be tens
of miles) via either a hard-wire or telephone circuit.  We believe
that any good solution to the general problem of interfacing Hosts
to IMPs must satisfy at least the following criteria:

     1)  The characteristics of the connection should be such
         that the undetected error rate can be expected to be
         extremely low.

     2)  The bandwidth of the connection should not be
         intrinsically limited to a low value.

     3)  The nature of the connection should be such that the
         Host may establish multiple network "conversations",
         i.e., it should have all the power of a normal Host
         connection.

These criteria were briefly discussed in our earlier RFC #241
(NIC #7671), "Connecting Computers to MLC Ports."

     After a careful review of the various possibilities for "very
distant" Host connection, we have arrived at a preliminary design
for this type of interface which we believe should prove
satisfactory with regard to the criteria above.  Although
detailed specifications will not be available for some time, the
basic elements of the design are as follows:


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