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Re: [FWD] Introduction of new FWD "experimental" service - FWD Vanity Numbers

  • To: "Stastny Richard" < >
    "Free World Dialup - The Future of Dialing" < >
  • From: Richard Shockey < >
  • Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2003 13:30:21 -0400

At 11:41 PM 8/8/2003 +0200, Stastny Richard wrote:

Hi Jeff,

I fully agree with you that FWD is the ideal playground to experiment
and try out new ideas and I also appreciate this. I have learned a lot
by thinking about this type of service and got ideas how to do things
or not to do things. The advantage of FWD is that is is free and therefore
may change or revise things if they do not work out quite easily.

We have seen this with numbering plan changes in the PSTN and regardless
if you align your numbering plan with E.164 or create a new one (as suggested
by some members here), finally all
similar systems will have to work together in a consistent way and then
any change will again cause troubles with customers, because they will
rely on it in various way (consider changing all numbers in your directory).
Try even suggesting renumbering the NANP ... see what happens ...

As we have also seen in the PSTN, you cannot be perfect from the beginning
and avoid numbering plan changes, but you should try to keep them to a minimum.

Using numbers you should not forget that this is an inverted tree with not many
choices, so if you use up one number of the first digit it is gone, reducing your numberspace
regardless how big it is by 10%.

And for what its worth I totally agree with Richard here ...and in large part with Jeff.

The difference in views is that FWD etal is a not for profit sandbox attempting to prove a point ( and very well I might add ) .

However there is a very large constituency that would like to create for profit global services that people can rely on and build business on.

I do not need to remind folks that the Internet would not work if it were not for the global consistency and Uniqueness of the IP numbering scheme (managed by the fine folks at RIPE, APNIC, ARIN etc) and the global single unique root of the DNS. You can say what you will about ICANN etc but it works ( well sort of ) .

The PSTN actually is no different. The PSTN works because, in part, because the E.164 plan is globally managed and controlled to maintain the same globally unique administrative pattern we have in IP addressing and domain names.

Sandboxes are fine but I'm a raging red-blooded capitalist. I know SIP works. Because I want a global SIP service that means I have to sacrifice something which in this control of naming and addressing. That was the ultimate compromise we made in ENUM itself. To maintain absolute consistency with the E.164 plan the administrative model of had to match that of the E.164 plan itself perfectly ,which meant we collectively ceded control to the Nation States and the other administrative bodies that controlled the various portions of E.164.

best regards

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Jeff Pulver [
Gesendet: Fr 08.08.2003 22:58
An: FWD@localhost
Betreff: Re: [FWD] Introduction of new FWD "experimental" service - FWD Vanity Numbers

Hi Richard,

I'm late to this thread and just catching up with the email but please
remember that with FWD and SIP a number is just a string. FWD is
just software based running on a few Linux servers and we are nothing more
than a real-time reflection of the community of people who are using FWD.

There isn't any intent on our side to map the 393 + [6-26] digits to
anything else other than someone's assigned internal FWD number. That's
the whole point about this new "experimental" service. We have no plans
to nor need to ever worry about overlays, numbering plans, etc. I'm
looking towards the future rather than being constrained by what others
would consider legacy thinking.

My hope is that fundementally FWD will continue to evolve without regard
to the legacy of the past but rather the potential brillance of our
future. Please remember that inventions are nothing more than "bad
mistakes" and my hope is that we will still continue to stumble across
the future learning, making mistakes, innovating and for some, inventing
the future of communications one step and day at a time.

The first FWD number assigned was 10000. We have been mosting incrementing
by 1 since November 11, 2002 and there are currently 44,465 subscribers
in 150+ countries who use FWD as a communciations network. The FWD numbers
that are in production today are 5 and 6 digit numbers and in the future I
expect that we will move formally to 7 digits (or more) as we continue to

For those people who wanted to have the flexiability of being able to
create their own numbers, we figured why not provide the platform
to do so?

Because you cannot create a consistent global service that way. You cannot let users create domain names or IP addresses on their own.

The 393 prefix was added by us as a way to internally support
our own "legacy" numbering plan. Being on the internet and being around
creative people, I see no harm in encouraging people be as creative as

This said, and because I always thought it would be cool to be able to be
reached as jeff.pulver@localhost we also opened the door to support
text aliasing to assigned FWD numbers. I'm not sure where a SIP URI really
fits into any number plan either...and in any case, the "core" FWD number
that these aliases internally maps to right now is still only 5 or 6
digits so in reality I don't see anything being "broken."

We are trying to be a little innovative with the introduction of * and **
dialing when placing calls outside of the FWD network.

Anyway, let's see how this evolves. I expect this to continue to be fun,
even if some people don't always understand or get the vision. Earlier
today I received an interesting email from Sprint claiming that our FWD
dialing code of 1010333 which was used to dial from FWD to deltathree
iConnect Here customers was of concern to Sprint since they are the
owners of 1010333.

While I tried to explain that 1010333 was internal to FWD, rather than
fighting, we removed the reference to 1010333 from our website and going
forward people who wish to dial into ICH will have to dial **333 instead.
(more on this later.)

Best regards,


Richard Shockey, Senior Manager, Strategic Technology Initiatives
NeuStar Inc.
46000 Center Oak Plaza  -   Sterling, VA  20166
Voice +1 571.434.5651 Cell : +1 703.593.2683,  Fax: +1 815.333.1237
<mailto:richard(at)> or <mailto:richard.shockey(at)>
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