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e164.at and all that

  • To: "Stastny Richard" < >
  • From: Jim Reid < >
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 05:04:08 -0800

Richard, I welcome your clarification and hope it puts an end to the
concerns and confusion that have arisen in the last few days. It's
regrettable this clarification was needed but under the circumstances
it was essential. The initial announcement and the rationale for it
was IMO naive and ill-advised. It simply should not have happened, at
least not on enum-trials@localhost.

First of all, the announcement spoke about tests. The distinction
between tests and trials is unclear, perhaps even more so for people
who don't have English as their mother tongue. That wasn't helped by
the announcement coming from the Austrian NIC. This may have given the
(false) impression that this test/trial was officially sanctioned, and
that populating e164.at with any E.164 numbers was OK the Austrian
government, incumbent and regulator so some combination of these. [That
was certainly the impression I got from the announcement.] This was a
most unwelcome outcome even if it was unintentional. Making the
announcement on this list -- for sharing info about national ENUM
trials remember -- would have added to that impression. Another worry
was the scope of this alternate domain and the potential impact this
had on interworking between the official national trials. That was
initially left unsaid too.

Speaking personally I am annoyed and very disappointed at the timing
of the original announcement, aside from the fact it was made in an
inappropriate place. As you know the ITU is due to review their
interim procedures for ENUM delegations in May this year. Many people,
including yourself, have gone to great pains to help get those
procedures established. And calm the fears that many ITU members had
about internet matters and ENUM in particular. Announcing e164.at in
public in a quasi-official list -- and saying it can be used for E.164
numbers from any country without any authentication -- considerably
strenthens the fears and concerns of those who believe the internet is
out of control and untrustworthy. This could make the ITU review of
its interim procedures more difficult: and needlessly difficult at
that. And talk about e164.at could re-open a debate about the Golden
Tree all over again in Geneva, at a time when that issue has pretty
much been put to bed. Sigh.

As others have pointed out, other trees exist and nobody really cares
about (or for) them. You and your partners could have done your
private tests in one of those trees and kept quiet about it. Nobody
else needed to know about that and no-one would have been any the
wiser. That would have saved everybody a lot of time and hassle. And
it wouldn't have frightened the horses or upset anyone.

Still, what's done is done. I hope we can just move on and try to make
sure this sort of undesirable situation never gets repeated.




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