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Dear Alain,

As we approach the third generation of U.S.-France research networking
collaboration, I look back on the incremental steps NSF and INRIA have
taken together toward achieving today's staging for the coming phase.

I recall Larry Landweber's and Christian Huitema's transport gateway
project (INRIA-NSF) and the NASA and INSU/CDS (Strasbourg) collaboration
for access to SIMBAD, then at Orsay's Centre de Calcul. And how Mitch
Tasman and Walid Dabbous and the Princeton and MCI control rooms
remained on duty until early morning (Sophia-Antipolis time) and
monitored the circuits to keep the demonstrations functioning during the
1988 congress of the International Astronomical Union in Baltimore  and
the associated meeting of astronomical center librarians in Washington.

Then, we joined in the International Connections Manager's reengineering 
of the connection and Rocquencourt's entrance into the collaboration for
INRIA.  We recall with gratitude INRIA's single-party funding of the old
circuit during the institutionally complicated transition period to the
new ICM circuit. INRIA has been a stalwart partner in this endeavor.
Operational stability certainly improved fantastically during the second
phase.  And INRIA provided us with connectivity to Crete and Tunisia as
well as to a large cross-section of France's research and academic

And now, with the implementation of Renater, we prepare to take the next
step of expanded capacity to a Renater/NSF-provisioned link between the
U.S. and Ebone.  In doing so, NSF looks back on the rich environment of
collaboration we have enjoyed with our INRIA colleagues, and we
acknowledge with deep appreciation INRIA's contributions to today's
successes.  We have made many personal and professional friendships, and
we look forward to continued collaborations with INRIA personnel in our
now-enlarged shpere of cooperation with Renater.


Steve Goldstein

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