Moving Telephone Numbers Into the Internet Age

Now that we're 20 years past TN 2.0, well into the 21st century, and onto the 3rd generation of the web; it is about time we move telephone numbers into the Internet age. They are still managed as if they all connect to four copper wires. We manage to the lowest common denominator rather than acknowledging the power of mobility and Internet technology. more

Success Drivers of New gTLD Applications

Being approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as the owner of a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) extension requires considerable analysis before the application is submitted. You must understand the sources of risk, gauge your risk tolerance, and you must obtain an estimate of the value of your proposed TLD's future revenues (with the effects of potential competitors factored in, a step too many applicants ignore). more

Domain Dialing

The emergence of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) allowed the internet browsing to become much easier and intuitive. After all, from the user's perspective, it is so much easier to remember a domain instead of an IP address... The IP addresses replacement by domain names helps the Internet to become this global phenomenon that we know. Unfortunately, this revolution that had occurred in the domain market was not followed by other markets. more

Could .NAME be the Killer App ENUM is Waiting For?

I'm in the camp that ICANN Top-Level Domains (TLDs) are businesses that should be allowed to evolve from their original charter to increase their viability in the marketplace. It was announced today that VeriSign is proposing to allow telephone numbers and other numeric identifiers in the .NAME top-level domain. This could be the Killer App that ENUM has been waiting for. more

VIPR: New Developments in the VoIP Market

This is a new development in the VoIP market. This is how one of my colleagues, Cullen Jennings explained it to me. Today we have two widely deployed global identifiers for reaching people. One is delegated address out of DNS and the other is phone numbers. So I consider an address like email: carol@johnson.com or xmpp:john@gmail.com to roughly be out of the DNS namespace and phone number to be out of the E.164 name space. Phone numbers have lots of parts that are not cool, but they also have some cool parts... more

Google Voice Dispute Highlights an Opportunity for Mobile Network Operators

The recent row between Google, Apple and AT&T concerning the removal of Google Voice from the Apple iPhone store highlights the friction existing between network operators and so-called over the top (OTT) application providers. Most observers believe that AT&T initiated the blockade because Google Voice (which offers free or highly discounted calling rates) is a direct threat to AT&Ts call revenue (Google Voice users need only pay AT&T for access to the Internet). more

Will ENUM Deliver?

ENUM (E.164 NUmber Mapping) is a technology that has been around for a little while that has promised much and, so far, delivered little to the average user. As Nominet has recently been awarded the contract to administer the UK 4.4.e164.arpa delegation, I thought it was time that I put my thoughts on this subject down in writing. I'm going to cover the potential of ENUM in the telecoms industry and what it could mean to you, along with how it is currently being used and what potential security issues surround ENUM. more

Call for Telecom Industry Wake-Up

As many of you know, I'm launching the Emerging Communications (eComm) conference -- taking place next month in Silicon Valley, at the Computer History Museum. Communications innovation has been stagnant, in my opinion, for nearly a decade. Telecommunications and Internet communications both seem to be at somewhat of an impasse. The communications industry needs a forum to help break through the stagnancy and highlight the huge opportunity space that is emerging. The stagnancy has been strikingly more so in telecommunications... more

DNSSEC: Once More, With Feeling!

After looking at the state of DNSSEC in some detail a little over a year ago in 2006, I've been intending to come back to DNSSEC to see if anything has changed, for better or worse, in the intervening period... To recap, DNSSEC is an approach to adding some "security" into the DNS. The underlying motivation here is that the DNS represents a rather obvious gaping hole in the overall security picture of the Internet, although it is by no means the only rather significant vulnerability in the entire system. One of the more effective methods of a convert attack in this space is to attack at the level of the DNS by inserting fake responses in place of the actual DNS response. more

FreeNum Links Phone Numbers to the Internet

I loved John Todd's ETel presentation (podcast) on FreeNum, a scheme for bringing phone numbers to the Internet. Of course, I love identifiers and addresses and all that they enable, so it was a natural. Suppose you were a university campus and when you looked at your phone bill, you noticed that a lot of calls were to other universities. You've got a VoIP telephone system; they've all got VoIP telephone systems. You might wonder "isn't there some way to route these calls over the Internet and save some serious money?" The answer, of course is "yes" but making it usable is a little harder... more

Infrastructure ENUM

After much initial fanfare a couple of years ago ENUM has matured to a state where it is currently yet another under-achiever in the technology deployment stakes. ENUM initially presented itself as a very provocative response to the legacy telco position of monopolising public voice services through their exclusive control over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the associated controlling position over the telephone number space... The perception was that ENUM was going to dismantle these levers of control and open up the voice market to a new wave of competitive carriers. If the address plan was the key to the PSTN, then ENUM was intended unlock this network and position the new wave of Voice Over IP (VOIP) carriers to take over any residual treasures of the traditional voice market. Events have not played out according to these expectations... more

A Fundamental Look at DNSSEC, Deployment, and DNS Security Extensions

In looking at the general topic of trust and the Internet, one of the more critical parts of the Internet's infrastructure that appears to be a central anchor point of trust is that of the Domain Name Service, or DNS. The mapping of "named" service points to the protocol-level address is a function that every Internet user relies upon, one way or another. The ability to corrupt the operation of the DNS is one of the more effective ways of corrupting the integrity of Internet-based applications and services. If an attacker can in some fashion alter the DNS response then a large set of attack vectors are exposed. ...The more useful question is whether it is possible to strengthen the DNS. The DNS is a query -- response application, and the critical question in terms of strengthening its function is whether it is possible to authenticate the answers provided by the DNS. DNSSEC provides an answer to this question. more

Taking Aim at 8 Myths about ENUM

ENUM has a critical role to play in telephony services convergence. Although many carriers are adopting ENUM there are myths swirling around the confuse newcomers. In data networks, the domain name system (DNS) is responsible for converting Uniform Resource Locators (URL's) to IP addresses in order to route data traffic. The ENUM protocol performs a similar essential function of linking E.164 telephone numbers to Universal Resource Identifiers (URIs) -- enabling communication services to use traditional phone numbers to set up calls over IP networks. Unfortunately, there's a good deal of hype and confusion around ENUM, which might lead carriers to delay ENUM implementations. That delay would be a mistake... more

Cricket Liu Interviewed: DNS and BIND, 5th Edition

In follow-up to recent announcement on the release of the latest edition of the very popular DNS and BIND book -- often referred to as the bible of DNS -- CircleID has caught up with Cricket Liu, co-author and a world renowned authority on the Domain Name System. In this interview, Cricket Liu talks about emerging issues around DNS such as security and IPv6 support, and important new features such as internationalized domain names, ENUM (electronic numbering), and SPF (the Sender Policy Framework). "Cricket Liu: We're now seeing more frequent attacks against DNS infrastructure. ...Turns out that name servers are terrific amplifiers -- you can get an amplification factor of nearly 100x. These attacks have raised awareness of the vulnerability of Internet name servers, which is possibly the only positive result..." more

Help! This is Not an Emergency

I like the drift of the Pulver/Evslin proposal on emergency communications, and wish there was as vigorous a debate going on over here. I just hope we in the UK aren't jerked out of complacency by some major disaster -- although widespread use of pre-paid cellular means the problem of sunken landlines isn't as acute. Yet I can't help but wonder why the poor public has to wait for a disaster before they're given partial control over how their number maps to different destinations and services. Why can't I get a voicemail service from someone other than my connectivity provider? Why is ENUM hostage to the telcos, whose interest lies in ensuring that new services can only come from them? more

News Briefs

National Domain Registry Nominet Launches UK ENUM

New .tel Top-Level Domain Goes on Sale

Uniting the Internet and Phone Network, ENUM Project Starts in UK

Most Viewed

Letting DNS Loose

Cricket Liu Interviewed: DNS and BIND, 5th Edition

A Fundamental Look at DNSSEC, Deployment, and DNS Security Extensions

Convergence: ENUM is a Big Deal

DNSSEC: Once More, With Feeling!

Most Commented

Whither DNS?

DNSSEC: Once More, With Feeling!

Could .NAME be the Killer App ENUM is Waiting For?

Letting DNS Loose

Address Policies