Wed, 19 Feb 2003 23:32:39 +1100
Declan McCullagh on ENUM ..
U.S. backs merging Net, phone numbers
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
February 13, 2003, 6:15 PM PT
WASHINGTON--The Bush administration is lending its support to an international proposal to map telephone numbers to Internet addresses.
In a recent internal letter, the Commerce Department recommended that the United States participate in an emerging electronic numbering
system, known as ENUM, that will allow people to use one identifier for many different purposes, including mobile phones, e-mail, instant
messaging and faxes. ENUM is designed to accelerate the convergence of the telephone network and the Internet and is expected to offer a
huge boost to online telephony services.
"The United States should seize this opportunity and take steps to participate in e164.arpa, consistent with the highest standards of
security, competition, and privacy," wrote Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory in the letter to the State Department. The domain that will be
used with ENUM addresses ends with e164.arpa..
When ENUM domains become active, users will be identified by their telephone number including the country code. What that means is a phone
number such as +46-8-9761234 would be mapped to the 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6.4.e164.arpa Internet address in a process that is expected to become
automated and transparent to the user.
ENUM grew out of the Internet Engineering Task Force's Telephone Number Mapping working group, which drafted the RFC 2916 proposed standard
in September 2000.
So far, 13 countries that are members of the International Telecommunication Union have signed on to the e164.arpa proposal and plan trials.
The group is coordinating international efforts.
Cheers all ..