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An organization that wishes to connect to the Internet via THEnet must first request and receive prior approval and guidance on where and how to connect. Prospective subscribers to the service must commit to adhere to THEnet policies. All approval, guidance, and policy come solely from the University of Texas System Office of Telecommunication Services (OTS).

OTS will assist in the establishment of the connection to THEnet at the subscriber's Internet gateway location and will provide supporting services such as network number assignments and secondary name service upon request. However, the configuration of all local network devices and services are the responsibility of the subscriber or its contractors, consultants, or equipment suppliers including but not limited to primary domain name service; Web, email and all other local TCP/IP services; and configuration of internal routers and local LAN/WAN communications.

While OTS will send you more details upon confirmation of your eligibility to subscribe to THEnet services, below are some of the items you may need to do to set up your connection.

I. Initial Preparations

A. Order a Circuit

Order a data circuit with delivery date set in accordance with the best estimate for when your equipment will be delivered. As soon as you know the circuit ID, order number, and delivery date, send that information to connection@the.net.

B. Request IP Address Space

Determine the number of IP network numbers you will need; consult with your consultant or systems integrator if necessary. Be prepared to offer a justification for the number of network numbers you are requesting. See IP Network Number Allocations for more information and a link to the request form.

C. Purchase Equipment

Initiate acquisition of your routing equipment, domain name server, email and Web servers, and all necessary software from your equipment supplier or systems integrator. Pre-arrange any assistance you will need from consultant or integrator for installation and configuration of equipment and software, including configuration of domain name service, Web and mail server.

D. Register a Domain Name

If your organization does not already have a domain name, you need to determine the name you will use and register that name with the appropriate registration authority. See Domain Name Registration for more information and links to domain name registrars.

E. Configure Primary Name Server

There must be at least two domain name servers serving your "forward" (name to IP address) domain and your "reverse" (IP address to name) in-addr.arpa domains. The server at your site will be the primary server, i.e., it will be the origin of all authoritative information about your domains.

F. Acquire Secondary DNS Name Service

At least two authoritative name servers are required for each domain in order to provide continuity of DNS service in case any one server fails or becomes unreachable. In addition to the primary name server, there must also be a secondary, or backup, name server either at your site or elsewhere.

OTS offers secondary DNS name service to THEnet subscribers for both the "forward" mapping domain and for the "reverse" mapping in-addr.arpa domain. Please see Secondary DNS Name Service for information and a link to the request form.

If you request service from OTS, you will receive confirmation by email when OTS has configured secondary name service for your domains, which will include the domain name of the OTS secondary name server. You will need to insert an NS record for the name server in the zone files on your primary name server for your forward domain and all in-addr.arpa domains.

G. Register the IN-ADDR.ARPA domains for your network numbers

After you have been notified that your request for secondary name service has been fulfilled, then you may proceed to request registration of your in-addr.arpa domains. Visit the IN-ADDR.ARPA Domain Registration Form to submit requests.

Across the Internet, the .in-addr.arpa (inverse address) domain is used for reverse mapping for Internet numbers, translating the IP address to a hostname.

II. Share Connection Information

Before your connection can be turned up, you must provide various critical pieces of information. You are welcome to submit this information at any time during the initial steps.

A. Organization Information

Please send the following information to admin@the.net unless otherwise indicated.

i. Main Contact Information

Make certain that OTS has your organization's main contact information, including postal address, telephone number, and any existing Web address. Also, send your shipping and physical addresses if they are different from your postal address. Please send this information to admin@the.net.

ii. Billing Contact and Preferences

Please send the name, telephone number and postal address of your billing contact. Identify your preference for either monthly or annual billing intervals. Send this information to admin@the.net and billing@the.net.

If your organization is tax-exempt, please fax a copy of the certificate to OTS at (512) 471-2449

ii. Administrative, Technical and Abuse Points of Contact (POCs)

Please identify your technical, administrative, and abuse points of contact (POCs) and send their names, telephone numbers, and email addresses to admin@the.net; include any after-hours telephone numbers with which you want OTS staff to use, including mobiles, pagers, and home numbers.

You may specify multiple people or roles (e.g., Help Desk) for each type of contact; one person may serve as all three.

Technical POC: This type of contact should be able to handle hardware and network installations and troubleshooting, or at least be familiar with the network connection.

Administrative POC: This type of contact needs to be able to make decisions regarding the THEnet connection charges, upgrades or cancellations and ensure that the one-year subscription agreement is processed accordingly.

Abuse POC: This type of contact should be able to receive and act upon reports about privacy violations, copyright infringements or network attacks originating from the subscriber's network.

 

B. Interface IP Addresses

Identify the specific IP networks that will be directly connected to your gateway router, i.e. which nets will be used to address interfaces on that router.

C. Routed IP Networks

Identify the specific networks, if any, that will be heard at your gateway router through:

  • a routing protocol, and identify the protocol
  • a static route, and specify what the static route is for each such network

D. Circuit Information

As soon as you know the circuit ID, order number, and delivery date of the circuit you will use to connect to your nearest THEnet Point of Presence (PoP), send that information to connection@the.net.

III. Bringing up the connection

When your equipment is installed and configured and you have submitted contact, routing, circuit and billing information, then it is time to bring up your connection.

Call the OTS Network Operations Center (NOC) at (512) 471-8530 and request that your circuit and the router-to-router communication be tested. Be prepared to discuss the technical specifics of your connection, including your router passwords.

If the connection proves out, then NOC staff will forward details to OTS routing personnel who will finalize serial communications between your gateway router and the THEnet router to which you connect, and will enable the announcement of your networks to the Internet. Confirmation will come via email.

Important: Until your forward and in-addr.arpa domains are registered in the Domain Name System (DNS), your organization will not have full use of its Internet connection.

IV. Upgrades or Cancellations to Established Connections

In order for OTS to provide quality customer service and support, please submit any address, billing, contact or routing updates to OTS as soon as possible when the information changes at any time during your THEnet subscription period.

After your connection is active and during your THEnet subscription term, contact OTS at (512) 471-8530 or email connection@the.net if you have any questions or need help troubleshooting, discover that you need additional bandwidth, or would like to inquire about upgrading your equipment or adding services.

For cancellations, please send email to connection@the.net to notify OTS of your intent to disconnect or to discuss your options. Your THEnet subscription one-year agreement will detail the cancellation terms and how much notification you must give.

Please note that the recurring THEnet Connection Fee covers the routing of the subscriber's network traffic to and from the Internet. As long as the communications link is in place between a subscriber router and an OTS router or one or more of the subscriber's networks are being advertised to the Internet, then the THEnet connection fee will be payable at the appropriate monthly rate indicated in your THEnet subscription agreement.