(14 - 25 JUNE)
Networks and the management of
internet domain names
To report on activities that ITU is already
undertaking in regard to IP‑based networks, on the roles and
activities of other relevant international organizations, and on the
degree of cooperation between ITU and those organizations.
To report on ITU participation in international discussions
and initiatives on the management of Internet domain names and
Resolutions COM5/14 and COM5/15.
Council is invited to consider this report and recommend appropriate
action. In addition, the Council is invited to endorse two specific
participation by ITU-T in the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Protocol Supporting Organization
ITU management of the .INT top level
aforementioned initiatives would be undertaken using existing
The Internet represents a fundamental revolution in the way the
global community thinks, lives, shops, gathers information and conducts
business. Since the telecommunication industry provides the infrastructure
for the Internet, the two are inextricably linked. In fact, the public
switched telephone network (PSTN) connects tens of millions of computers
on the Internet, providing most of the transport over which the Internet
protocol (IP) and related application services such as the World Wide Web
are carried. In addition, the PSTN provides dial-up access to the Internet
for millions of users.
In response to Resolution COM5/14 (Minneapolis, 1998), the
Secretary-General has prepared the following report which contains a
summary of the activities that ITU is already undertaking with regard to
IP-based networks. The report also contains information
on the roles and activities of other relevant international organizations,
describing their involvement in IP-based network issues, and indicating
cooperation measures between ITU and those organizations.
A more comprehensive report on these subjects, including URL
references, is available on the Web and has been included on the Council
The explosive growth of the Internet, and other IP-based networks,
and with it the ever increasing demand for higher bandwidth/capacity, has
network operators and manufacturers alike reconsidering their services,
network structures, products, etc. Information technology and the use of
IP‑based networks and applications (e.g. e-commerce) have become
critical factors in the development of telecommunication networks.
Data traffic is growing at more than ten times the rate of voice
traffic and it is estimated that in the near future data will account for
80 per cent of all traffic carried by telecommunication networks.
Therefore, with this rapid change, the past concept of telephone networks
that also carry data will be replaced by the concept of data networks that
also carry voice. In this regard, seamless interworking between IP-based
networks and telecommunication networks and interoperability of their
respective applications/services is essential to meet the burgeoning
business requirements placed on modern communications networks.
Another important trend in telecommunication networks is the
emergence of mobile networks and a significant increase in the number of
customers subscribing to them. The work on the third generation mobile
networks performed by ITU under the name of IMT-2000 has, as its main
features, an increased data speed of 384 kbit/s up to 2 Mbit/s, a global
roaming capability and the virtual home environment (enabling users to
move seamlessly between fixed and mobile networks). These features will
provide an additional infrastructure for the IP-based network services
with fast, ubiquitous access through the global roaming capability.
Interoperability of networks and of applications is becoming an
increasingly important aspect. The interaction of IP-based networks and
telecommunication networks for the purpose of gaining access to the
Internet, or other IP-network applications, and the need for the
interoperability of IP-based services and telecommunication services means
providing real time Internet or other
IP‑based multimedia services with the speed, capacity, ease of use,
reliability and integrity of the public telephone networks in use around
the world. These are aspects of telecommunication network standardization
in which ITU-T has an excellent track record.
Not only are we facing major changes in the telecommunication
network, but also these changes are developing at ever shorter time
intervals, with reduced development intervals and corresponding shorter
life-cycles for services and products. Standards bodies must be able to
change their focus and work direction to produce necessary standards at
much shorter intervals.
In short, business directions are changing across the
telecommunication industry. Consequently, standards organizations, forums
and consortia are facing new challenges in terms of work direction and
focus. We are also seeing the emergence of new bodies to address related
The ultimate value of IP and telecommunication network interactions
is the building of an integrated network through which people will have
increased opportunities to interconnect and exchange ideas. It is a major
challenge for ITU-T to meet and it is necessary, if the vision is to
become reality, for ITU-T to leverage its knowledge, experience and
competence in developing global standards for communications networks.
The next WTSA will be in the year 2000, at which time ITU-T will
review its work priorities, direction and structure. However, it is TSAG's
view that by the year 2000 the telecommunication environment will have
already moved significantly towards making IP‑based technology a key
part of the network infrastructure. Therefore, ITU-T cannot wait until
2000 to change its work directions in order to maintain its leadership
role in the development of global standards, as part of the inevitable
Since 1998, Study Group 13 has acted as lead study group for
"IP-related aspects" with the mandate "to provide a focal
point in ITU-T for IP-related studies, including the interrelationship
between IP and telecommunication networks and their convergence".
In recognition of the relevance of IP (Internet protocol)-based
networks and their impact on the short-term business perspectives of ITU
members, Study Group 13 has developed an "ITU-T IP project"
separate from, but closely related to, GII studies. The project, which is
intended to encompass all ITU-T IP-related work, will be regularly updated
as the work progresses and as the various ITU-T study groups expand their
activities in support of the IP-related work.
The primary objective of the IP project is to identify the issues
relative to IP and telecommunication interoperability, utilizing the
features of both to mutual advantage in the support of business needs.
The following twelve work areas have been identified as being of
current major concern to ITU-T:
Area 1 -
Area 2 -
Impact on telecommunication access infrastructures of access to IP
Area 3 -
Interworking between IP-based network and switched-circuit networks,
including wireless based networks
Area 4 -
Multimedia applications over IP
Area 5 -
Numbering and addressing
Area 6 -
Transport for IP-structured signals
Area 7 -
Signalling support, IN and routing for services on IP-based networks
Area 8 -
Area 9 -
Integrated management of telecom and IP-based networks
Area 10 -
Area 11 -
Network capabilities including requirements for resource management
Area 12 -
Operations and maintenance (OAM) for IP
For each of these areas, the project describes the scope and focus
of the work area, the issues, current work in the ITU-T study groups and
related work in IETF
Study groups will continue to study IP-related aspects in
accordance with their respective responsibilities and mandates, as
established in Resolution 2 of WTSC-96. At the request of TSAG, the study
groups have updated their questions to include IP-related aspects. At its
meeting in April 1999, TSAG reviewed the report of the lead study
group, as well as the liaison statements received by the various ITU-T
study groups, and will prepare further actions for WTSA-2000 in order to
respond positively to this priority item in the Sector's strategic plan.
A detailed report describing the activities of the ITU-T study
groups has been included on the CD-ROM distributed to Council
of ITU with regard to ICANN's Protocol Supporting Organization (PSO)
In October 1998, the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed in order to assume responsibility for
IP address allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system
management and root server system management functions. These functions
were previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA),
Network Solutions Incorporated (NSI), and other entities, under United
States Government contract. The ICANN bylaws provide for the establishment
of supporting organizations, including an Address Supporting Organization
(ASO), a Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) and a Protocol
Supporting Organization (PSO).
As at April 1999, the latter organization (PSO) has yet to be
established, but it is scheduled to be formed among international
Internet-related standards development organizations (SDOs) shortly after
ICANN's next meeting in Berlin at the end of May 1999. PSO will be
responsible for appointing three members to the ICANN Board of Directors
and providing advice and recommendations and reviews on Internet-related
protocol and parameter issues.
Contributions to the recent TSAG meeting proposed that ITU seek an
effective role in PSO because of its standards activities related to the
Internet. Consequently, the General Secretariat, TSB and ITU-T study group
representatives have been involved in discussions on the establishment of
PSO with representatives from ISOC/IETF and the World Wide Web Consortium.
One approach under discussion is the establishment of a memorandum of
understanding between SDOs that would define cooperative arrangements for
the functioning of PSO.
Council is requested to endorse this course of action.
initiative (third generation mobile)
Some features of IMT-2000 Capability Set 1 include:
Support of packet data services (e.g. IP)
Data rates up to 2 Mbit/s
Quality of service negotiation
Asymmetric or symmetric upstream/downstream bit rates.
The result will be a new generation of mobile combination
handsets/personal digital assistants (PDAs).
There are multiple liaison activities with ITU-T study groups: see
the IMT-2000 work plan for further information on related study group
ITU-R Working Party 8A has approved a new study question on IP over
ITU-R Working Party 9A is addressing IP-performance issues as they
relate to transport of IP through radio and is developing a tool to
collect information concerning performance-related ITU-T recommendations
(e.g. G.821, G.826, I.356, I.AAL, I.380).
Telecommunication Development Sector
activities of the BDT Information System Unit
The Information System Unit is involved in a number of activities
related to statistics and analysis used to measure access to the Internet
A number of annual time series related to Internet diffusion are
collected, compiled and disseminated. These include Internet host
computers, Internet host computers per inhabitant, Internet users,
Internet users per inhabitant (all published in the ITU's annual World
Telecommunication Development Report), Internet subscribers, Internet
networks, number of Internet service providers.
Analysis of Internet pricing trends. A comparative basket for 45
countries was compiled in November 1998.
Analysis of Internet access in developing countries (see the
relevant chapters in the ITU Report "Challenges to the
Ongoing work in methodological considerations for identifying the
best indicators to measure Internet diffusion and using data to analyse
the situation and make forecasts.
Assistance with policy and
BDT's Sector Reform Unit is responsible for implementing the
Valletta Action Plan programme on reform, legislation and regulation of
telecommunications. In that respect, the unit provides assistance to
countries in the restructuring of the telecommunication sector. The unit
collects and analyses information on trends in sector reform. It carries
out an annual survey on telecommunication regulation. One of the main
topics addressed in this year's survey is the Internet. The survey
information will be analysed and reported in the second edition of
Telecommunication Reform: 1999" which will be published on the
occasion of TELECOM 99. The theme for this year's report is the regulation
of digital convergence.
The unit is also responsible for development and updating of the
"Telecommunication Regulation" website (T-Reg online). This
website serves as the BDT's regulatory information service for the
telecommunication community and provides essential information relating to
regulation and sector reform. The website includes an electronic reference
library, which contains documents on Internet and convergence.
The unit organizes regional seminars on telecommunication reform
and regulation. These meetings address subjects that are identified by the
regions themselves. A workshop on telecommunication reform was organized
on 3-5 May 1999 in Gaborone (Botswana) for English‑speaking African
Extensive use is made of the Internet to deliver online training
and support (ITU Virtual Training Centre and Global Telecommunication
Examples of activities include:
A series of courses delivered via the Internet, teaching how to use
the Internet for distance learning. These courses will be delivered once
again this year to the majority of telecommunication organizations in the
Online training via the Internet is soon to be provided to several
thousand students in ITU member organizations in developing countries, on
a wide variety of subjects including IP networks.
IP-networking workshops for developing countries are planned, in
collaboration with private Sector Members.
Promoting universal access
Programme 3 of the Valletta Action Plan is responsible for
promoting universal access to information communication technologies (ICTs).
It does so in close collaboration with BDT regional coordinators and
representatives and other international, national and private sector
partners. There are a number of ongoing activities aimed at bringing
Internet connectivity to developing countries, particularly in underserved
or rural areas.
These activities include:
Organizing regional seminars and workshops
Implementation of community telecentre pilot projects - currently
under way in Mali, Benin, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Bhutan, Viet Nam,
India, Honduras and Suriname
Full-scale implementation of telecentres is taking place in
Argentina, under the project "Argentine Internet for All". This
project, jointly financed by the Secretariat of Communications of
Argentina (USD 23 million) and BDT, will bring Internet access to isolated
and underserved areas. The project aims to install 950 "community
technology centres" (CTCs). Each CTC will have at least five Internet
connected PCs. In addition, 50 "virtual training centres",
each with ten Internet connected PCs, will offer Internet services and
permit the creation of local web-based content.
A focus group has been established on the promotion of
infrastructure and use of the Internet in developing countries (Question
commerce for developing countries (EC-DC)
Last year, BDT launched a special development initiative called
electronic commerce for developing countries (EC-DC). EC-DC is a global
project with the following objectives:
to enable developing and least developed countries to use existing
infrastructures and services to participate in electronic commerce;
to facilitate the transfer of electronic commerce technology and
increase public awareness;
to stimulate the planning and deployment of Internet-connected
telecommunication infrastructure and value-added services.
Since the successful launching of the EC-DC pilot at WTDC-98
(Valletta, 1998) and its approval in September 1998 as a BDT project
financed by the TELECOM surplus funds programme, EC-DC projects have
started up in Venezuela, Egypt and Morocco, and requests have been
received from several other countries to participate in EC-DC. Partnership
agreements are being discussed with a view to providing financial and
other assistance for EC-DC in many other countries.
The General Secretariat is playing an increasing role in
facilitative initiatives for strengthening international coordination,
dialogue and harmonization in the context of the Internet and the global
information economy/society, particularly with respect to the Union's
leading role in matters relating to the role of telecommunications. These
initiatives include opening and facilitating dialogue between
telecommunication regulators and competition authorities and supplying
information and analysis relevant to their work, as well as supporting the
development of frameworks for cooperation. Some examples include:
The Strategic Planning Unit, with the assistance of colleagues
throughout ITU, has prepared expert reports and studies on important
policy and regulatory issues. Two such studies on the Internet
("Challenges to the Network") have already been completed in
1997 and 1999. ITU has also established a strong position in the provision
of Internet indicators and data.
There has been a tradition of informal ITU-related meetings hosted
by the Union. For example, ITU's regulatory colloquia have served a useful
purpose in developing the exchange of views on regulatory issues,
including most recently e-commerce.
Internet names and addresses
With reference to Resolution COM5/15 of the Plenipotentiary
Conference on the management of Internet domain names and addresses, the
General Secretariat has been involved in several related activities,
including the following:
in IAHC, gTLD-MoU and POC
At the request of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
and the Internet Society (ISOC), ITU was one of the original participants
in the International Internet Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) created in October
1996 that attempted to establish a new framework for management of
Internet generic top level domains. The IAHC's final plan was described in
the Generic Top Level Domain Memorandum of Understanding (gTLD-MoU) and
ITU was and continues to be a participant in the gTLD-MoU Policy Oversight
Committee (POC). Besides POC, an additional component of the gTLD-MoU
framework was the establishment of an association of globally distributed
Internet domain name registrars called the Internet Council of Registrars
Following the release of the United States Government's white paper
on management of Internet names and addresses dated 5 June 1998, the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was
established. The description of ICANN on its website says:
"The Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the new non‑profit corporation
that was formed to take over responsibility for the IP address space
allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management,
and root server system management functions now performed under U.S.
Government contract by IANA and other entities."
On 21 April 1999, CORE was selected by ICANN as one of an initial
set of five new testbed registrars who will bring competition to domain
name registration services for .com, .net, and .org top level domains. It
is increasingly clear that ICANN will adopt almost all the key provisions
developed by IAHC and described in the gTLD-MoU.
ISO 3166 top level domain survey
In the last few years, ITU has received an increasing number of
queries on responsibility for Internet domain name registration in
different regions of the world. Because the available information was
often incomplete or out of date, ITU conducted a comprehensive survey in
1998‑1999 of the contact information and registration sites for all
Internet top level domains based on the ISO 3166 standard. The survey,
which is available on the ITU website, was carried out in cooperation with
the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and all data gathered have
been supplied to IANA on a continuing basis.
Governmental Advisory Committee
ITU is participating in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN) Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).
At its first meeting in Singapore on 2 March 1999, GAC requested
ITU's participation in two subgroup studies, namely:
the current administrative regime with regard to country-code top
level domains (ccTLDs), including access to information for users and the
basis of delegation decisions;
advice on whether any specific business rules/regime should be
applicable to country code top level domains which are classified as
"open" or "restricted".
activities with IANA and ICANN
ITU has several ongoing liaison activities with IANA and ICANN
following requests from ITU Member States for assistance in the transfer
and/or management assignment of ISO 3166 Internet top level domains -
including provision of technical top level domain hosting services at ITU
and technical and policy assistance, particularly for developing
on the WIPO Internet domain names process RFC-3 interim report
ITU has provided comments pertaining to the protection of the
Union's names and acronyms for the WIPO Internet domain name process RFC-3
interim report which will form the basis of a recommendation by WIPO to
ICANN on dispute resolution policy vis-ΰ-vis domain names and trademarks.
top level domain management
Following an initial request from the Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority (IANA), discussions are under way for a planned ITU management
of registrations in the .INT Internet top level domain. .INT is a highly
restricted low-volume (approximately one per month) top level domain
intended principally for intergovernmental organizations like ITU.
The Council is requested to endorse this role.
Activities and cooperation with other international organizations
Annex A contains a list of activities and/or organizations involved
in Internet and IP networks that involve cooperative initiatives with ITU.
and cooperation with other international organizations
commerce coordination activities
Staff from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), International Trade Centre
(ITC), World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations Economic Commission
for Europe (UNECE), and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD) are having discussions to enhance collaboration and integration
of e‑commerce development activities among Geneva agencies.
A compendium of IP-related work activities in Committee T1 was
submitted to the ITU-T TSAG meeting in April 1999. T1 is active in ITU-T
Standardization Institute (ETSI)
ETSI, which is an ITU-T Sector Member, cooperates with ITU-T in
standardization activities. Of special related interest in the context of
IP networks is the ETSI TIPHON project (Telecommunications and Internet
Protocol Harmonization over Networks related to IP telephony). ETSI is
also involved in third generation mobile work which is related to ITU's
for Standardization (ISO)
ISO collaborates with ITU in ITU-T standardization activities (cf.
WTSC-96 Resolution 7 and Recommendation A.23).
The transfer of certain responsibilities of IANA to the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is under consideration.
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
A description of ICANN and related ITU activities can be found in
ICANN Governmental Advisory
A description of the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee and
related ITU activities can be found in this report.
ICANN Protocol Supporting
A description of the ICANN Protocol Supporting Organization and
related ITU activities can be found in this report.
Internet Engineering Task
IETF is a large open international community of network designers,
operators, vendors and researchers concerned with the evolution of the
Internet architecture and smooth operation of the Internet. ITU-T has
ongoing cooperative initiatives with IETF on standardization issues.
Engineering Steering Group (IESG)
IETF working groups are grouped into areas, and managed by area
directors. Area directors form the members of the Internet Engineering
Steering Group (IESG). Members of IESG are involved in cooperative
initiatives with ITU-T on standardization coordination activities.
The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) provides architectural
oversight for the Internet Engineering Task Force. ITU has also been in
coordination with IAB on the activities.
The Internet Society (ISOC) is a professional membership society
with more than 150 organizational and 6 000 individual members in over 100
countries. It is the organization home for the groups responsible for
Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). ITU has ongoing
liaison activities related to standards with ISOC's Vice-President for
Standards who coordinates with IESG (see the section on Internet
Engineering Steering Group).
The OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI)
deals with issues relating to science and technology, information and
communications technologies and industry. DSTI addresses issues in the
areas of communications, the "information economy", and legal
aspects of the information society. It also deals with technological and
policy convergence and the measurement and policy issues raised by the
development and diffusion of information and communications technologies
and infrastructures and their impact on the economy and society.
ITU cooperates with OECD on Internet and telecommunication
indicators. ITU participated in the Ministerial Conference on Realizing
the Potential of Global Electronic Commerce (Ottawa, 7‑9 October
1998). The Union also participates with observer status at OECD's
Telecommunications and Information Services Policy (TISP) meetings. With
reference to ITU activities in domain names and addresses, OECD has also
undertaken surveys related to Internet domain name allocation policies.
A compendium of IP-related work activities in TIA was submitted to
the ITU-T TSAG meeting in April 1999.
World Intellectual Property
ITU worked with WIPO in the International Internet Ad Hoc Committee
(IAHC) created in October 1996 that attempted to establish a new framework
for management of Internet generic top level domains. The Union has
provide comments pertaining to the protection of its names and acronyms
for the WIPO Internet domain name process RFC-3 interim report.
ITU collaborated with WTO on the second World Telecommunication
Policy Forum in March 1998 (WTPF-98) on the theme "Trade in
telecommunication services". The Union has also collaborated with WTO
on training in developing countries on electronic commerce. Further
collaboration activities with WTO are the subject of Document C99/36 (Cooperation Agreement between ITU and
World Trade Organization).
World Wide Web Consortium
W3C was founded in October 1994 to lead the World Wide Web to its
full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution
and ensure its interoperability. ITU-T is collaborating with W3C (along
with IETF) on establishment of the ICANN Protocol Supporting Organization