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eDNS Offers Truly Competitive Internet Domain Name Registration
Approved Alternative Infrastructure In Place For Creation Of Additional Top Level Domains

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 4, 1997 -- The Enhanced Domain Name System (eDNS) today announced the consensus agreement for the development and implementation of an alternative infrastructure for creation of additional top level domains (TLDs) and the governance of name assignments within those TLDs.  eDNS is comprised of a number of members of the Internet community who have assembled to augment the existing Internet Assigned Names Authority's (IANA) worldwide root servers with a faster infrastructure that eliminates barriers to open competition for the assignment of Internet domain names.

The announcement was made today by Karl Denninger, eDNS founder and president of Chicago-based ISP MCSNet, a party to today's agreement, and follows the presentation of and agreement to the eDNS operating charter by members at a meeting held yesterday in Atlanta. To foster worldwide support, the meeting was broadcast worldwide via the Internet.  A copy of the eDNS operating charter can be found in HTML format at http//www.edns.net

eDNS was founded in January 1997 on the principle that no individual, organization or corporation has the right to monopolize the top-level domain namespace, either effectively through accumulation of market power or by edict.  The goals at the establishment of eDNS were the creation and deployment of an alternative name server infrastructure to that established by IANA and the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC); the promotion of wide-spread buy in by the Internet community; and the continuing support of existing TLDs while opening the root of the DNS system to true competition.

The alternative infrastructure promotes the creation of numerous additional TLDs such as ".per,"  ".biz,"  and ".web"  all of which will be controlled by a variety of registries that compete openly in a fair, minimalist and impartial manner.  Under the IAHC's arrangement, IANA maintains control over existing TLDs with no open-market-based incentive to offer fair, high-quality service to the ever-expanding Internet community.  The eDNS has formally recognized these existing IANA and Internet Society country code TLDs as well as the non-conflicting portion of the IAHC's latest recommendations.

"When IANA was chartered as the sole registrant for the vastly popular `.com' and `.net' top level domains years ago, no one knew that the Internet was going to become the global exchange that it has developed into," noted Denninger.  "The popularity of the Internet, however, has simply eclipsed the ability of any one body to effectively and fairly administer this truly global network. eDNS promotes an improved infrastructure based on the sound principle that open competition leads to a better product and improved service."

Under the set-up agreed to by eDNS partners, eDNS will be organized as a three-level structure.  The root level, which is eDNS itself, will act as a distributor of data that simply edits and maintains the root zone file and grants registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The next level is the registration authority (RA), of which there are expected to be many, unlike under the existing system where the IANA is the sole RA.  Under the eDNS system, RAs will have the ability to create new TLDs and make policies for those TLDs they sponsor, including pricing.  New RA organizations are free to form and enter the market at any time, promoting continued growth and competition.  According to the eDNS charter, every RA must sponsor multiple registries, which form the third level of the structure.  Registries contract with the RA of their choice for TLD usage and will be the organizations that end-users come to for registration of an Internet domain name. Registries will form contracts with RAs as independent business organizations according to the policies established by their respective RAs.

"The open, three tiered structure for the Enhanced Domain Name Service will offer the Internet community the power of choice - something sorely lacking under the current arrangement," according to Denninger.  "In the past, if you were dissatisfied with your domain name service, you had virtually no recourse.  With eDNS, if your service doesn't meet your needs, you will be able to find another registry that better suits you.  With the open competition model, registries that will be successful are those that offer the most value to customers and meet the varying needs of the disparate Internet community."

According to the terms of the adopted charter, the eDNS  root will hold TLDs for up to 30 days pending activation.  The root activates the TLD upon confirmation that the registry submitting the TLD request is active and functional, at which time the RA will be considered the publisher of the TLD.  The eDNS will permit up to 10 TLDs to be operated and controlled by any single registration authority.  Currently available TLDs operating under eDNS include ".biz," ".corp," ".npo," ".k12," ".fam" ".web" and ".per."

"Clearly this is a major step toward overcoming the obstacles that threaten to make the Internet a bureaucratic nightmare," continued Denninger.  "By following models of open competition that have been proven over hundreds of years to be ideal, we have taken a major step today toward ensuring that the Internet won't simply be a fad of the 1990's, but will continue to be a valuable and important global tool for information exchange for decades to come."

This agreement brings together a number of players from the Internet community who stand behind the goals of eDNS.  In addition to MCSNet, parties to the agreement include the Alternic, a registration authority, along with multiple registries and/or ISPs including American Global Network, Inc.; Image Online Design; Lan Minds, Inc.; VecNet; Skyscape; and Iperdome.  Prior to today, eDNS was operating three root name servers for routing Internet traffic through its systems.  Following today's agreement, two additional servers will come online within 24 hours, bringing eDNS' infrastructure equivalent to half of the 10 root name servers that currently serve the Internet under the status quo.  It is expected, as eDNS expands its reach, that its capacity will continue to offer proportionally more available space than available in IANA's system.

eDNS is expected to be fully functional by April 1.  The primary eDNS root name server is maintained and administered in Chicago by MCSNet.  eDNS stands for open, impartial and minimalist administration of the public networks as a tool for global communication.

For more information, contact Karl Denninger at 312/803-MCS1 x219 or visit eDNS' home page at http//www.edns.net


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