[LINK] .tel domains

Kim Davies kim at cynosure.com.au
Sat May 9 10:36:16 AEST 2009

Hi Kim,

Quoting Kim Holburn on Friday May 08, 2009:
| > It is the same technology as ENUM (i.e. NAPTR records in the DNS),
| > except instead of being tied to a telephone number, it is tied to a
| > .tel domain. Upside is no regulatory quagmire as with telephone number
| > assignments,
| Huh?

ENUM maps telephone numbers into domains, and to use it a telephone
number holder needs to get the matching domain name. This either
means you need to have a delegation chain in the DNS that mirrors
that of number allocations (roughly speaking, ITU->Government
regulator->telco(->telco)(->business)->user) and if just one participant
in that delegation chain does not care for ENUM and does not get the
delegation, you are screwed.

For example, to take my old residential number, 08 9243 4440: 

         This is the ENUM root, effectively delegated to ITU by IANA.
         This represents +61, the numerical space for Australia, designated
         at http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/oth/02/08/T02080000010003PDFE.pdf
         This is delegated to Telstra Corporation according to
         government records: 
         Lets say I have transferred carriers to another telco, there
         needs to be way to transfer the delegation through them to
         Telstra somehow. The current telco is needed as an authentication agent
         to prove my title to the specific number.
         This is the domain that should finally be registerd to me.

In some countries, they cut out some of the middle men and through some
authentication mechanism they control, they can assign numbers directly
to end users; but it still relies on government regulators actually
caring enough to run ENUM for their country. Most countries do not. If
your government hasn't signed on, you can not use ENUM. This is distinct
from TLDs like .au which can be delegated to parties other than the

With .tel, there is no chain of intermediaries you have to convince to
get your delegation. You pay your money and get your domain.

| > downside is its another identifier to remember with a lack
| > of a killer app to spur adoption.
| It's not clear to me but when you "buy" a .tel domain (or perhaps  
| "rent" would be a more fitting description), do you get the rights to  
| the subdomains or does the registrar hold them and "sell" them  
| separately, like id.au?

Actually, .tel does not provide you with the delegation. You do not get
to control the "NS" records for the domain. Rather you provide them with
the NAPTR records (email addresses, phone, fax etc.). ICANN prohibited
.tel from being used as a regular domain so you can not use it to host
a web page, receive email, create subdomains and so forth as you would
with normal domains.

On the topic of purchasing, no-one ever owns any domain, they are all
revocable licenses of one form or another.


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