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The Route Arbiter project was a research grant awarded by the National Science Foundation to the Merit Network and the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute in July of 1994. The goal of this project was to "support leading-edge routing, tool development and research for the U.S. Internet". Work on this project was completed in 1998 to help address routing issues occurring at Internet Exchanges. The result of this research was a commercial product called the Route-Arbiter Database (RADB). The RADB contains information about the routing policies of those who have registered for the service and provided the information. The fee for this privledge is $250.

At that time, it was not uncommon for a destination to become unreachable because of the routing policies of a given provider. The point of the RADB was that many ISP's filter the routes they receive from other ISP's and thus 'delete' many routes from the Internet. This causes Internet users be unable to reach certain websites. The RADB became a "routing registry" where the routing policy of a registered participant in the RADB could be placed on file for others to use. IN THEORY this would make troubleshooting Internet routing problems easier by being able to see the route filtering policies of all the ISP's along the path to a location that is unable to reach your website. IN PRACTICE, none of the top backbone ISP's participated in this project, rendering the tool almost useless.

There are a number of software tools developed to allow registered participants and Internet users to query the RADB; however, these tools are no longer supported.


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