North American Network Operators Group
The North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) is an informal organization where the operators of Internet Service Providers, academics, telecommunications service providers, vendors, large enterprises, and application service providers exchange technical information. In spite of its name, it has participants from all over the world.
NANOG has an extremely active mailing list, and also has an in-person meeting three times per year, from Sunday night to Tuesday. Typically, at least one of those meetings is held jointly with the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN); ARIN will meet on Wednesday through Friday.
While other groups, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) designs complex internetworking mechanisms such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), it is at NANOG, and other regional groups, where the service providers work out the equally complex operational techniques for the use of these mechanisms.
The organization evolved from the NSFNET "Regional-Techs" meetings, where technical staff from the regional networks met to discuss operational issues of common concern with the Merit engineering staff. At the February 1994 regional techs meeting in San Diego, the group revised its charter to include a broader base of network service providers, and subsequently adopted NANOG as its new name.
Funding for NANOG originally came from the National Science Foundation, as part of two projects Merit undertook in partnership with NSF and other organizations: the NSFNET Backbone Service and the Routing Arbiter project. All NANOG funds now come from conference registration fees and donations from vendors.