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Domain Interruptus will make Y2K problems look trivial

Industry needs to act by end of the month

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The contracts for the control of Internet domain names by Network Solutions and the IP address and root directory system by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) come to an end on 30 September. However, the expected new, non-profit body to administer the system has not yet been established. Any interruption in the present systems will make Y2K problems seem utterly trivial. In June, the US government announced it would permanently cede its authority for the central administrative functions to the private sector. There are two proposed Internet management bodies, one by IANA and another by NSI. It is hoped that a consensus will emerge before the end of the month. Fortunately, the Global Internet Project (GIP), an international group of senior industry executives founded by Jim Clark of Netscape, and chaired by John Patrick of IBM, is passing the hat to obtain some funds for the interregnum. Yesterday, it was announced that $135,000 of a target $500,000 had been raised from Ascend, AT&T, Cisco, GTE, and IBM. The GIP funding is intended as an interim measure. There is $23 million in the kitty from the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund that is expected to be turned over to the new management body, once it has been formally established. ®

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