Bram Dov Abramson on 26 Jul 2000 06:01:24 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> roving_reporter Tue Jul 25 00:54:25 EDT 2000

>   .enum -- "Enum"? Yes, enum: for mapping telephone numbers onto DNS.
>   The fact that, like "banc" with a "c", it's Franco-friendly, is just
>   the icing: one layer of the cake is who benefits, namely, the ITU and
>   its main constituents, telcos and PTTs. For an embattled organization
>   like ICANN, these will be very useful friends indeed. The other layer
>   is who loses, namely, the country-code registrars. At Yokohama, there
>   were rumblings of indeterminate source that ICANN might "check" with
>   national governments to see whether those pesky ccTLD registrars who
>   aren't paying tribute have their delegation papers in order. .enum
>   will assuage telcos wordlwide, and provide them with a clear entree
>   into the registration business.  But the ITU had better be doing a
>   masterful job of drawing up the .enum technical specs; if they foobar
>   it, voice over IP could be dealt a stunning blow and could take a lot
>   of "convergence" down with it.

Presumably the ".enum" derives from goings-on involving the IETF's ENUM
(Telephone Number Mapping) working group
(  Presumably the talk of needing
ENUM-like services to foster VoIP (cf is based on the idea that even
when two people are on IP-enabled telephone-like devices, they're getting
in touch via a telephone number, so things aren't going to happen unless
the world's telephone numbers default automatically to a single domain name
scheme which can then be resolved to IP address.  

All fine, though why .enum is much more convenient than as a TLD
-- when few people are likely to be typing either into tops of browsers --
escapes me.

But there are other parts that are harder to follow:

- How would that tie ICANN closer together with the ITU, esp given that use
of or something similar would bring the number mapping directly
under an existing ITU-administered TLD?  

- How would that impinge upon the "authority" of ccTLD admins, unless the
assumption was that each telephone country code would otherwise have been
mapped onto each ccTLD, and telephone numbers underneath them?

- And is the ITU really such a powerful ally for ICANN?  I mean, it's not
exactly a non-controversial organisation among international telcos ... and
of them, the ITU members who continue to support it enthusiastically aren't
necessarily the most influential ones, especially in the Internet world.  


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