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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

Internationalized Domain Names: The Babelization Factor

As current statistics now clearly indicate, two-thirds of the estimated 560 million people online are non-English speakers. As one would expect, in the upcoming ICANN Shanghai Meeting of October 28, 2002, IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names, also known as Multilingual Domain Names), are one of the main topics of discussion. This global affair is also fueling the growing list of Internationalized Domain Name Certified Registrars that offer domain names in many other non-English characters with .com, .net, and .org. more

AusRegistry Earns $9M In Its First 12 Months

The Privately-owned Melbourne-based company AusRegistry that won a four-year contract on July 2002 from AuDA to provide registry services for Australia's .au ccTLD has reported an earning of $9 Million -- beating its original expectation by $3.5 Million. This earning comes from 52,640 new registration of .au, .org.au, .com.au, .asn.au, .net.au, and .id.au -- the majority portion consisting of .com.au. (pdf report)

AusRegistry has also recently won a contract to operate the registry for Solomon Islands domain names (.sb), and negotiating with five other countries that reportedly includes one "significant" ccTLD. The company is also interested in being authorized by the Australian Communications Authority to run trials of ENUM: "It just makes sense to do that, given the strength of the .au database...the cost to us is minimal, given we've got the existing infrastructure," said the AusRegistry's managing director Adrian Kinderis. [Source: news.com.aumore

Court Denies Preliminary Restriction of WLS

In a strongly worded ruling, a U.S. Federal Court Judge has ruled in ICANN's favor and denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Dotster and two other ICANN accredited registrars had asked the court for an order prohibiting ICANN from finalizing approval of VeriSign's proposed new "Wait Listing Service" (WLS). Plaintiffs alleged that WLS is "anti-competitive" and that ICANN breached its obligations under the registrar accreditation agreement (RAA) when ICANN gave preliminary approval to WLS last year. The court disagreed, ruling [PDF] as follows: more

National Academy of Science and the Domain Name System Controversy

The National Academy of Science (NAS) has been brought into the controversy over the future development of the Internet and its domain name system, a controversy recently fueled by the creation of ICANN. The US Congress under Public Law 105-305 mandated that the NAS undertake a study of the domain name system, which is to include options for its development, and the potential impact of the various alternatives. The $800,000 expenses for the study are to be funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce. more

Examining the Reality of Convergence

If there is one word in the telecommunications that has suffered from over-abuse for many years now, it's convergence. The term has been liberally applied to each successive generation of communications technology for their supposed ability to solve a myriad of service delivery problems within a single unifying converged carriage and service delivery solution. Unfortunately, the underlying reality has always been markedly different from these wondrous promises, and we continue to see an industry that deploys a plethora of service delivery platforms and an equally diverse collection of associated switching and service delivery technologies. One can't help but wonder at the collective gullibility of an industry that continues to herald the convergent attributes of each new generation of communications technology, while at the same time being forced to admit that previous convergent promises have never been realized. more

Choosing Internationalized Email Addresses

Recently I've been working on Email Address Internationalization (EAI), looking at what software is available (Gmail and Outlook/Hotmail both handle it now) and what work remains to be done. A surprisingly tricky part is assigning EAI addresses to users. In traditional ASCII mail, the local part of the address, what goes before the @ sign, can be any printable ASCII characters. more