t byfield on 26 Jul 2000 07:07:24 -0000

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

babramson@telegeography.com (Wed 07/26/00 at 02:11 AM -0400):

> Presumably the ".enum" derives from goings-on involving the IETF's ENUM
> (Telephone Number Mapping) working group
> (http://www.ietf.org/ids.by.wg/enum.html).  Presumably the talk of needing
> ENUM-like services to foster VoIP (cf
> http://www.netnumber.com/intellectual.htm) 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 .e164.int as a TLD
> -- when few people are likely to be typing either into tops of browsers --
> escapes me.

marketing. and i don't know how many umpteen hundred million 
phones there are in the world, but do you really think ICANN
would blithely hand the *immense* sums of money involved in
this delegation to the *one* guy who 'runs' .int?

> 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 .e164.int or something similar would bring the number mapping directly
> under an existing ITU-administered TLD?  

for starters, it would give the ITU something to do. the ITU
has been prowling around, looking for a way to get its hooks
into ICANN's turf, so ICANN is faced with a choice between 
(a) proceeding with a phone-mapping TLD without the ITU--and
i doubt ICANN could survive the resulting fight--or (b) doing 
it *with* the ITU, but carefully. for example, by adopting the 
specs developed for .e164.int by the ITU and the IETF but mak-
ing it happen under another name: .enum.

> - 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?

one needn't assume that the ccTLD registrars would map phone
domains *under* the ccTLD: the registrars are in the business
of registration and, as such, potentially are logical candi-
dates for all business of that kind. keeping this business out
of the ccTLD registrars' hands means jump-starting alternative
registrars. and that will give ICANN a meaningful reason for
engaging with governments about questions relating to who is
the best or rightrful organization for registrations.

> - 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.  

the question isn't whether the ITU is a powerful ally for ICANN;
rather, it's whether the ITU might be a powerful *enemy*--and,
if so, how to avoid that.


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