DNS: MelbourneIT policies...

DNS: MelbourneIT policies...

From: Antony <antony§sydney.healey.com.au>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 21:01:29 +1000 (GMT+1000)
I've been monitoring the goings on of the .com.au situation for a little
while now, and wanted to make a few comments and points.

Firstly, with some 6000 .com.au domains registered at May 30 1996, this
would mean that MelbourneIT will gross a minimum of $300,000 per annum. This
is a pretty nice amount of money, given that all of their equipment and
connections to the Internet have more than likely been paid for by us
already... the tax payer.

As far as I am aware, a "business" arm of a University is still funded (at
least initially) by the University, which means we paid for it. I wish we
got a government grant like that to start up.

With $300,000 we could quite easily install a couple of E1 links into the
Internet, and have staff processing turn arounds in 2-3 days.

MelbourneIT are claiming a 100Mbps 'Internet' backbone... well that's just
and out-and-out li.. well, let's say "error or ommission". They just patch
into a hub, and that hub patches onto the general Internet... and the
general Internet just isn't at 100Mbps in Australia yet.

This apparent 'slush' fund that M.IT wants ISP's to cough up money into also
raises some concerns. It was noted that any interest on the money would be
payable, however, the only way to get your monies worth, is to register
enough domains until the money runs out. At least, that is what I gleaned
from their documents. Also, would M.IT be charging "handling fees" if
refunds were necessary. Since the money was in M.IT's hands, would they pay
the FID and other Govt taxes on the monies? If they went broke or were
discontinued, what assurances do ISPs have of getting their money back?
Would they be prevented from using the monies for any other purposes (like
playing short term money markets)? Sounds feeble and pedantic? Perhaps, but
being the financial manager here, I like to know _exactly_ where our money

What I think I find most disturbing is that no direct contact was made with
holders of .com.au domain names. Since we are the ones that will have to pay
for the service (which I do not be-grudge), I would expect to have been at
least consulted about such radical changes to the policy. It not only
affects ourselves, but our clients, whom we now have to explain to that
their original "one time DNS fee" just isn't anymore and have them complain.

Discussing the issue with the 2 (or 3) listed "Industry associations" was a
rather poor move, in the light of the fact that very few ISP's are actually
members. We are not, because they have been badly formed and carry no weight
(*hears the cries of 'Catch-22'*). Since all of the .com.au domain name
holders were listed in the database(s), it would have been a simple matter
to email them, asking for opinion, or at the very least, some notification
of change. Neither has been forth-coming.

Now, I am assuming that DNS registration and delegation will not be invoiced
for until _after_ approval, so their "refunds" seem odd. Why are they
insisting on bi-annual and not just annual renewals? If their automated
re-delegation systems fail and you have to submit it manually, will they hit
you for their $75 fee? I know, it sounds silly, but think like you're
dealing with Telstra here... thought that might spark a thought.

Their method of "crediting refunds" seems suspiciously like the Tax Office.

How often could we expect policy changes? How often could we expect price
increases? I believe this is valid, since being part of (owned by) the
university, they will be bound by useless beauracratic nonsense and cost
overruns that would send any normal company broke.

Will other .au domains be brought into line (eg, .net.au, conf.au etc) and
will the current guidelines for .com.au names be relaxed? They appeared to
be as tight, if not tighter than Kre's policies.

Once you are paying for a service, I believe you have a right to expect
certain things from that service. Not being able to transfer a domain name
without de-registering the domain name first (and having to wait a month)
seems pointless to me.

Forgive my rantings, I would have like to have structured this a little
better, however I thought I'd just raise the points as they appeared to me.
Not enough (any with ISPs) consultation was done regarding what was actually
_needed_ for the .com.au hierarchy, only "what we'll let you have". Having
the DNS 'conference' in Melbourne was pointless when more than half the
.com.au domains are held by companies with HQ's in Sydney. This just
demonstrates another mis-managed issue.

Antony Healey
Network Manager
Healey Communications Australia.

PS: Btw, if you have a dispute with M.IT, you have to pay for a "Dispute
professional" to be brought to Melbourne from Sydney (*shrug* don't ask me
why) to resolve the issue(s).... and how many people will pay for the
flight, the accomodation, meals, entertainment et al.... 
Received on Fri Nov 01 1996 - 13:11:24 UTC

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