Colin Steele colin.steele@anu.edu.au
Wed, 23 Oct 1996 16:51:44 +1000


For info.



         WASHINGTON, DC, October 22, 1996 -- In a move to
resolve controversy surrounding proposals for enhancements to
the Internet Domain Name System, the Internet Society today
announced the formation of an international ad hoc committee

         "The IAHC will undertake defining, investigating, and
resolving issues resulting from current international debate over a
proposal to establish global registries and additional international
Top Level Domain names (iTLDs)," according to Don Heath,
president and CEO of the Internet Society.

          The proposal, originally written by Jon Postel, long-time
head of the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA), would
add up to 150 new iTLDs to allow more descriptive names while
reducing the load that is primarily borne by the ".com" international
Top Level Domain.   IANA is the central coordinator for the
assignment of unique parameter values such as internet
addresses, domain names, protocol numbers, and port numbers,
for Internet protocols.

           The Internet Society (ISOC) board of trustees voted to
accept the IANA proposal prior to its annual meeting, INET'96,
held last June in Montreal. The board added the proviso that the
proposal be fleshed out to include details of implementation and
business aspects.

           Since the qualified adoption of the IANA proposal by
ISOC, "there has been considerable international debate on various
aspects of the proposal, with no consensus," Heath, said.
"Additional important issues have surfaced and it is in the best
interest of the continued beneficial evolution of the Internet that
these issues be aired and resolved," he added.  A centralized
electronic forum will be employed to facilitate and support the

           William L. Schrader, President, CEO and Chairman of
PSINet, a leading Internet Service Provider with aggressive
international plans stated, "The initiative by ISOC is a bold
move in asserting its role in the leadership of issues key to
the future of commerce on the Internet as well as in defining
and resolving important governance issues internationally.
We strongly support and urge this kind of action by ISOC."

           The IAHC will be composed of representatives of the
large international Internet community.  The International
Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO), and the International Trademark Association
(INTA) will designate one each.   ISOC, IANA, and the Internet
Architecture Board (IAB) will each appoint two members for a
total of nine.

            "The IAHC members appointed by ISOC, IANA, and
IAB may come from anywhere within the worldwide Internet
community and not necessarily from their respective groups,"
said Heath.   Members of the IAHC are expected to be named
within the next week.

            "We are very pleased that ITU, WIPO, and INTA will
be participating in this deliberative process," he said.  "The
Internet's explosive growth and the commensurate questions
that have arisen regarding Internet governance need to be publicly
aired to further understanding and, ultimately, to determine an
international resolution.  Consideration of the IANA proposal
provides a vehicle to investigate those questions as well as the
implementation of additional iTLDs and more name registries,"
Heath continued.  Currently, there is one registry, Network
Solutions, Inc., to register existing Top Level Domains of
".com," ".net," ".org," and ".edu."

             The Internet Society is a non-profit international
organization for the coordination and cooperation of entities
that influence the evolution of the Internet.  It was established
"to assure the beneficial, open evolution of the global Internet
and its related internetworking technologies through leadership
in standards, issues, and education."

                                                 # # # #

Tony Barry
Acting for -

Colin Steele
University Librarian
Australian National University
Canberra  ACT 0200
Tel (06) 249 2003
Fax (06) 249 0058