[bit.listserv.infonets] Host unknown

KLENSIN@INFOODS.MIT.EDU (John C Klensin) (02/07/90)

>It sounds like you should be able to log in via GTE Telenet; call them at
>800-336-0437 and explain that the number above is a X.25 address (2502 is the
>data network identification code for IASNET and the rest is the NUA number).
    In addition to GTE Telenet, several other carriers offer X.25 service
and, international links.  The best known are Tymnet and an AT&T service
whose name I don't remember.
    The bad news is that, to the best of my knowledge, no public packet
switched data network (PPSDN) vendor in the US is really interested in
doing business with small accounts who want to make outgoing international
calls.  As a general rule, within the US "calls" over these networks are
billed to the remote computer, so only the computer needs an account with
the network vendor.  As a result, the local access numbers are readily
available and one does not need to "log in" to the network itself, with
accounts, passwords, etc.  This is not the typical situation outside the
US, where the user, not the remote computer, typically pays for the call.
Since the "foreign" machines rarely accept charges for calls--many PPSDN
vendors outside North America don't even offer that capability--one must
establish an account with the US-based PPSDN vendor so that charges can be
billed to you.  As of the last time we went through the process (a year or
two ago), the vendors we spoke with wanted large fees to set up an account
and imposed large monthly charging minimums.  There was no practical way to
set up an account to make a couple of calls and then discontinue, or to
make a couple of calls a month.  "Large charges" and "large monthly
minimums" were in the range of thousands of dollars, incidentally.

>Now a question to the readership of Info-nets: given an address like the above,
>and a mailbox, can one send e-mail to it?
   In general, no.  You have two of the three things you would need.  The
third is a mail protocol, supported on both hosts, and a server for that
protocol on the host you are trying to reach.  The ratio of sites with X.25
connections to sites with X.25 connections and some plausible mail protocol
is huge.  It becomes much larger as soon as you decide which protocol you
would like to use.  For example, while there are X.25 sites that support IP
over X.25 and SMTP on top of TCP on top of that, there are not very many
and you probably won't find them in the USSR.