DNS: Geoff Huston's 4 Questions

DNS: Geoff Huston's 4 Questions

From: Peter Gerrand <ceo§MelbourneIT.com.au>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 09:45:53 +1000
Geoff Huston wrote:
> I have 4 simple queries to Melbourne IT which I feel should be openly
> answered if this operation is to gather any degree of confidence in
> its integrity as a real service to the Internet community in Australia
Apologies for the delay in responding - you'll appreciate we have been
rather busy. Here are my answers - PG

> 1. Why the relatively rapid timetable to charge existing holders of
>    domain names?

We have two strong motivations: technical and commercial.
As the COM.AU DNA we need to validate and update the DNS as soon as
possible, so we can carry out our job without making serious mistakes
through relying on badly out-of-date and incomplete data in the DNS. 
Currently AUNIC is both incomplete (in allocated DNs) and unreliable
(for administrative and technical contacts). The fact that AUNIC only
allows each administrative contact to belong to one organisation, when
in reality, they can belong to several, means that we cannot properly
test whether the specified administrative contact in applications is
indeed the true admin contact for the organisation. We are also told by
several ISPs that many of the administrative and technical contacts
listed in AUNIC are out of date. As the COM.AU DNA, we need to obtain
reliable, up-to-date information on all our customer admin contacts, 
and we can best achieve this through a complete re-registration process. 

The commercial discipline of having to pay to renew DNs will sort out
the "live" from the "dead" DNs, and cause the administrative and
technical contacts to be updated in the process. We shall work with
PISPs and other ISPs to validate their records during December-February
and produce a reliable DNS. 

In addition, we obviously have a commercial motivation to gain
sufficient early revenue to off-set our major up-front investment in
setting up the bureau service, given the uncertainties as to how many
other organisations will be authorised to compete with us in the New

> 2. What services does Melbourne IT provide to the registered party for the
>    fee charged?
The services that Melbourne IT (as the COM.AU DNA Bureau) provides to
you in return for your DN licence fee (for renewed registration) are: We
I.   Manage, maintain and update the Primary Name Server for COM.AU DNs
II.  Provide free re-delegations of name servers as requested by the
authorised contact for your DN.
III. Carry out regular testing of the integrity of the COM.AU networked
name space; specifically, for every registered COM.AU Domain Name 
      (a)  test if the delegated name server is reachable and
      (b)  test if its SOA (Start of Authority) field is consistent with
                the Primary Name Server Zone Files.
      (c)  If (a) or (b) fail, notify the contact e-mail address
                specified in the SOA. 

The purpose of this regular testing is to ensure that end-to-end
connectivity is sustained across the Internet to your DN and all other
registered and delegated COM.AU DNs. The cost of this largely invisible
service to you
is about $5 per month (or less).
> 3. Will Melbourne IT expose its accounts to public scrutiny in
>    operating this service?

Melbourne IT is audited by the Victorian Auditor General. 

> 4. What will happen to financial surpluses generated by this activity?
It is Melbourne IT's aim to plough back profits from the DNA bureau
service into funding research into new Internet related products that
will enhance the future
Internet capabilities in Australia and abroad -  and generate
considerable additional local employment. 

We are also willing to sponsor selected Internet infrastructure and
ISOC-AU activities, as appropriate to the magnitude of our role in the

With good wishes
Professor Peter Gerrand
CEO, Melbourne IT
(Melbourne Information Technologies Australia Pty Ltd ACN 073 716 793)
Level 3, 207 Bouverie St
CARLTON Vic. 3053 Australia
Tel. +61 3 9344 9300
Fax. +61 3 9347 9473
Email: ceo&#167;MelbourneIT.com.au
Home page: http://www.MelbourneIT.com.au/
Received on Thu Nov 21 1996 - 13:27:46 UTC

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