In the cooperative agreement with the NAPs, the National Science Foundation has made a fairly vague request for statistics reporting. As with the NSFNET program, NSF was not in a position to specify in detail what statistics the network manager should collect since NSF did not know so much about the technology as the providers themselves did. The situation is similar with other emerging network service providers, whose understanding of the technology and what statistics collection is possible is likely to exceed that of NSF. The NAPs and NSPs, however, at least in early 1995, were having enough of a challenge in getting and keeping their infrastructure operational; statistics have not been a top priority. Nor do the NAPs really have a good sense of what to collect, as all of the new technology involved is quite new to them as well.
A concern is that the NAPs will likely wait for more specific requirements from NSF, while NSF waits for them to develop models on their own. Scheduled meetings of community interest groups (e.g., NANOG, IEPG, FEPG, EOWG, Farnet) that might develop statistics standards have hardly enough time for more critical items on the agenda, e.g., switch testing and instability of routing. The issue is not whether traffic analysis would help, even with equipment and routing problems, but that traffic analysis is perceived as a secondary issue, and there is no real mechanism (or spare time) for collaborative development of an acceptable model.
cost-benefit tradeoff: fulfill the deliverables of the cooperative agreement with NSF, at the least cost in terms of time and effort taken away from more critical engineering and customer service activities.