About the Network Startup Resource Center

The NSRC cultivates collaboration among a community of peers to build and improve a global Internet that benefits all parties. We facilitate the growth of sustainable Internet infrastructure via technical training and engineering assistance to enrich the network of networks. Our goal is to connect people.

NSRC helps to build network infrastructure and the human technical capacity to manage it in Internet ecosystems around the world.

For more than thirty years, NSRC has helped develop Internet infrastructure and network operations communities in 130+ countries, assisted thousands of universities, facilitated the deployment of dozens of Internet eXchange Points (IXPs) in all world regions, and provided technical guidance to dozens of country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) registries for stable, secure DNS operations in cooperation with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

In addition to technical training via network operator groups (NOGs), national research and education network (NREN) communities, and shared infrastructure such as IXPs, NSRC emphasizes direct engineering assistance to improve operational infrastructure, resulting in better and faster networks.

NSRC achieves this through targeted capacity-building activities and partnerships with the Internet Society (ISOC), universities, RENs, NGOs, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), industry, government, and supranational agencies in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, the Middle East, North America, and the Pacific.

Building Community

Community building is the foundation on which NSRC is built and the reason why so many NSRC staff and contractors are passionate about the work we do. By working as a request-driven group that responds to those asking for assistance and encouraging others to stand on their own and work with others to support them in the same way, communities are built. This is a long-term and lasting impact and it is one of the most gratifying outcomes that result from the work NSRC has done over the years.

The NSRC Model

  • Technical training and human resource development activities
  • Direct engineering assistance to build operational infrastructure
  • Participatory development (request-driven via international partners)
  • Local hands cultivating local expertise (scaling workforce impacts)
  • Catalyzes and assists networking within the least connected regions of the world
  • Contract and work with network engineers across the world, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, North America, and the Pacific

Internet Infrastructure Contributions

  • NSRC played a key role in helping establish the first Internet connections and ccTLD delegations in location including Peru, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Egypt, Guinea, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Kenya, Morocco, Liberia, Senegal, Tanzania, Cambodia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica and Togo.
  • For nearly thirty years, NSRC has helped develop Internet infrastructure and network operations communities across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific, facilitated the deployment of dozens of IXPs in all world regions, and provided technical guidance to dozens of ccTLD registries for stable, secure DNS operations in cooperation with ICANN.
  • The science-enabling activities have assisted with the formation of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in 50+ countries as well as 15 Regional RENs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean and the Middle East.
  • From 1992 through 2021, NSRC facilitated the distribution and deployment of 800+ tons of network equipment and technical reference books to universities, hospitals, libraries, research facilities and IXPs in 130 countries around the world.

Building Network Expertise and Infrastructure for International Science Collaboration

The broader impacts of NSRC's activities are global in scope. Through coordinated technical training programs and direct engineering assistance, NSRC enables Internet developers who support the International Research Network Connections (IRNC) community.

  • Shared cyberinfrastructure enables scientific collaborations between U.S. scientists and international institutions
  • Address and solve problems in the field with local partners
  • Cultivate a culture of network operators helping each other
  • Technical training with universities, NRENs and regional NOGs
  • Direct engineering assistance to physically improve networks
  • Provide education to improve network security and performance monitoring
  • Help to plan and build wireless infrastructure to improve both faculty and student access
  • Assist with creation of IXPs
  • Leverage government, industry, and private investments
  • Provide equipment donations to improve core infrastructure and IP services
  • Work with libraries, museums and national archives to help educators create curated digital collections on specialized topics

Representative Projects

  • Redesign and upgrade the Charles Darwin Research Station network for scientists working in the Galapagos Islands
  • Help upgrade the network infrastructure and research lab connectivity for the University of California Berkeley's Gump Research Station in Moorea, French Polynesia in cooperation with the University of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands Research and Education Network (PIREN)
  • Help upgrade and modernize the network and data transfer capabilities for the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at Makerere University, Uganda in cooperation with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Work with AMLIGHT Principal Investigators Julio Ibarra and Heidi Morgan on development of Research Infrastructure in Africa and Latin America
    • First South-South-North R&E 100Gbps network path established in 2020

Who is the NSRC?

  • University of Oregon employees and students at our home institution
  • A distributed team of network engineers and trainers living in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, North America, and the Pacific, with a core group of staff and student employees based at the University of Oregon
  • Instructors in-training in all regions of the world
  • Dozens of long-time NSRC Volunteers who come from universities, ISPs, the Internet Engineering Task Force community and industry

Early History

NSRC was started by Randy Bush and John Klensin in late 1980s while establishing some of the first email systems (FidoNet and/or UUCP) in many countries. Throughout the 1990s, the founders of the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) assisted dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America-Caribbean, the Middle East and Pacific building computer networking infrastructure and establishing their first communications links to the global Internet. In 1992 NSRC was funded by the National Science Foundation (award #: NCR-9616597) to provide technical assistance to organizations setting up new computer networks to connect scientists engaged in international research and education. During the initial years NSRC was affiliated with a United Nations University project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and assisted with fueling the internationalization of the Internet backbone at the time – the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET). The NSRC group moved its home base of operations to the University of Oregon in 1996.

NSRC Sponsors and Supporters

Thank you to all of NSRC's sponsors and supporters who invest in the development of open, interoperable networks and human resources to enable affordable Internet access.

Long Term Impacts

Through hands-on, lab-based curricula and a train-the-trainers approach, NSRC has provided technical skills and knowledge transfer to thousands of network engineers operating thousands of TCP/IP networks in all regions of the world, thereby enhancing the global Internet ecosystem.

Some alumni of NSRC's training programs are longtime collaborators and Internet pioneers in their countries who have shifted to careers in their national governments, including important roles such as Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Communications, Minister of Higher Education, Regulator of the national telecommunications agency, and other prominent leadership roles of public service in their countries. NSRC maintains good working relationships with many of them for technical and policy discussions, putting special emphasis on support for scientific institutions.