John Kempson (
Thu, 08 Jun 95 09:28:04 0000

The 'What is MBONE' page
For those that don't have WWW access -- or just don't want to bother

John Kempson

> What is the MBONE?
> MBONE stands for the Virtual Internet Backbone for Multicast IP.
> IP-Multicast is the class-D addressing scheme in IP implemented by
> Steve Deering at Xerox PARC. It was adopted at the IETF March 1992
> meeting and acquired the name MBONE after the July 1992 IETF
> meeting.
> The first multicast tunnel was established between BBN and stanford
> University in the summer of 1988. Tunneling was originally meant
> just as a short term hack until the core routers knew about IP
> multicasting. Here is an original public email contributed by David
> Waitzman ( that captures the moment.
> IP Multicast-based routing facilitates distributed applications to
> achieve time-critical "real-time" communications over wide area IP
> networks through a lightweight, highly threaded model of
> communication. The IP Multicast routers (referred to as "mrouters")
> take the responsility of distributing and replicating the multicast
> data stream to their destinations as opposed to individual IP hosts.
> The MBone topology of mrouters is designed in such a manner that it
> facilitates "efficient" distribution of packets without congesting
> any node inappropriately.
> RFC-1112 fully describes the details. More details are available in
> the references section of this guide.
> Several MBONE topology maps are available at
> * Topology map, PostScript version
> * Topology map, GIF image
> * Topology map, Small GIF image
> [--]
> [Prev] [Index] [Next]
> Last Modified 3/10/95
> Created by Vinay Kumar,