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The advent of a widely interconnected computing infrastructure has raised the question of the kind of advanced communications that can be implemented "in the network". The active networks concept explores advanced capabilities such as content-based routing and multi-mode multicast. A larger issues exists, however, as to how widely distributed applications can access and manage any such advanced communication services. Hence, this paper investigates and demonstrates the use of network overlays to make active network services more accessible and easier to use. These overlays are discovered and distributed applications are managed using grid computing tools. In this paper we report on an HLA-compliant simulation that is started in a grid environment and uses a dynamic overlay of active network routers to accomplish scalable time management "in the network". We argue that this will be an effective, general mechanism for managing a variety of advanced communication services in distributed environments.