New domains proposal to go to RFC, despite friction

The US proposal for a revamp of the Internet domain name system will go through the formal RFC (request for comment) process with the Internet Engineering Task Force - despite the fact that some members of the IETF have slammed it.

The US proposal for a revamp of the Internet domain name system will go through the formal RFC (request for comment) process with the Internet Engineering Task Force - despite the fact that some members of the IETF have slammed it.

The core of the proposal is a recommendation for seven new generic (international) top level domains. It comes from the IHAC (International Ad Hoc Committee) constituted by the US Internet Society. Donald Heath, president and CEO of the society, said the RFC would go forward because "politically, as president and CEO of ISOC , not to go through the IETF process, it's crazy."

Heath, who who was in France for the first meeting of the French Internet Society, is confident that the proposal to alter the domain name system will survive the RFC process, partly because the ad hoc committee has some influential IETF members within its ranks.

There are a number of arguments for altering the structure of the domain name system. One is that the system has been skewed by the demand for addresses ending in .com. Even though national domain names exist, such as .fr or .nz, demand is higher for what in practice amounts to an international domain address ".com." In France, for example, as many sites are registered under .com as .fr.

After its conclusions are published at the end of January, the IHAC may be reshuffled. Currently the committee counts no Europeans among its members, an omission which Heath would like to remedy after finishing the report.

"I think we will need to change the make-up of the committee, I will probably be back-office chairman ... and add people, I would like to add people from Europe,"

IHAC can be reached at http://www.ihac.org/.

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