From: Kim Davies <kim§gospel.iinet.net.au>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 14:38:09 +0800
For those that haven't already seen this ...


Internet Society
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E-mail info&#167;isoc.org

WASHINGTON, DC, December 19, 1996 -- A plan to increase the number of
names that can be used to specify Internet locations, such as web sites,
and to introduce competition in the registration of Internet names, was
announced today by the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). 

More Internet names will be possible through the creation of 7 new generic
Top Level Domains (gTLDs) to be added to the existing ones (.com, .net,
and .org). The IAHC categorized .com, .net, and .org as generic TLDs
noting that they had previously been mis-categorized as international
TLDs. The IAHC concluded that there was only one true international Top
Level Domain (iTLD), .int, which is dedicated for organizations that
answer to multiple national governments, such as UN Treaty Organizations. 

New gTLDs will be named by the IAHC with public feedback from the global
Internet community and other stakeholders. They will consist of strings of
three to five letters each, that will have general contextual meaning
suggesting a connection with the Internet, with business, or with personal

All of the new gTLDs will be shared among the new registrars. A new
registrar is an entity authorized to register new domain names.
Individuals and companies desiring to register a name within any new gTLD
will have the option of many globally dispersed registrars, according to
the plan. The existing .com, .net and .org gTLDs are administered by
Network Solutions, Inc., (NSI) under the authority of the Internet
Assigned Number Authority (IANA) through a Cooperative Agreement with the
US National Science Foundation. Sharing of these gTLDs will be the subject
of discussions with NSI as will NSI's registering names within the new

The ultimate goals of the IAHC plan are to allow any qualified entity to
become a registrar, and to have every registrar sharing the ability for
registering domain names in all gTLDs. Because of concerns over managing
change to a critical Internet resource, the IAHC decided that the number
of additional registrars to be authorized in 1997 should be limited to
between twenty and thirty, with additional registrars added at the rate of
twenty to thirty per year, subject to an annual review of the efficient
functioning of the system. The limit on the number of registrars is
expected to be removed when the capacity to register domain names in the
present gTLDs (.com .org .net) are shared among all registrars. Initially,
registrars will be selected via a lottery process among qualified
candidates in a round-robin process that will insure dispersion equally
throughout the regions of the globe. 

"The IAHC members were faced with a formidable challenge. In addition to
addressing complex and difficult issues, they established an ambitious
deadline to reach initial conclusions," Donald M. Heath, president and CEO
of the Internet Society said in releasing the IAHC report. Heath, who
chairs the committee added, "We accomplished our goal, in no small part,
because we were able to bring people together from around the world, via
the Internet, using electronic mail and the IAHC home page for postings." 

The IAHC conclusions call for a 60-day waiting period prior to
authorization of a Second Level Domain (SLD) name under a gTLD, for
purposes of allowing legal issues to be resolved independent of the
operations of the registrar. An SLD is the name that immediately precedes
the Top Level Domain. There is a provision for "instant" authorization of
an SLD through the generation of a "randomized" SLD for those who do not
require a specific name or who choose not to wait under the 60-day period. 

While the IAHC encourages all registrars to implement the 60-day waiting
period immediately, it will not require that action until the existing
registrar, NSI, implements the waiting period. The IAHC further recommends
that an international trademark-related domain space should be created,
called .tm.int, to accomodate the international character of some

A Council of Registrars (CORE) will be established by a Memorandum of
Understanding (CORE-MoU) to provide the necessary contractual, legal and
public policy framework under which Internet registrars must operate.
Signatories will include all the authorized gTLD registrars, as well as
other stakeholders in the Internet's Domain Name Service operation. The
CORE will be responsible for ensuring that the administration and
management of gTLDs is operated as a public trust. 

Heath noted that, "The IAHC is interested in reaching a broad consensus
and will make its findings available to many national and international
organizations including ASEAN, APEC, and several Directorates-General of
the European Commission; FCC, NTIA, USPTO, and the FNC in the US; UN
Treaty Organizations; Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX); Internet Service
Providers Consortium (ISP/C); and others." 

The full text of the IAHC conclusions can be found on the IAHC home page
at: http://www.iahc.org. The document will be available for public comment
until January 17, 1997, at which time the IAHC will synthesize comments
received, and produce its final conclusions by February 3, 1997. 

According to Heath, "We expect to receive significant feedback from a
broad spectrum of interested entities concerned with the evolution of the
global Internet. The Internet Society views the Internet top level domain
space as a public resource that is subject to the public trust. Therefore
any administration, use and/or evolution of the Internet TLD space is a
public policy issue and should be carried out in an open manner in the
interest and service of the public." 

For detail information regarding IAHC conclusions and how to participate
in the public comment period, see the IAHC home page at:

# # # # # # # # # # #

% kim davies <kim&#167;iinet.net.au> tel: (09) 322 7770 fax: (09) 322 6660
  iiNet Technologies, QV.1 Building, 250 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000
  url = http://www.iinet.net.au/~kim
Received on Mon Dec 23 1996 - 18:31:50 UTC

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