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[council] ITU-T and ENUM

Forwarded to the NC list at the request of Richard Hill, ITU.
>  -----Original Message-----
> From: Hill, Richard 
> Sent: Thursday, 25 April  2002 12:02
> To: 'reform-comments@icann.org'
> Subject: ITU-T and ENUM
> The document titled ISPCP comments on ICANN reform at:
>   http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc10/ICANN_ISPCP_Constituency_response.htm
> contains the following statement:
> "In response to recent claims that the ITU already performs effective and efficient functions that are similar to those required for the administration of Internet names and addresses, the ISPCP does not support such a case. In contrast the ISPCP cites the recent experience related to the introduction of ENUM, where the protocol work was completed within a matter of months by the IETF, but the Administration aspects have become bogged down in political and procedural debates within ITU which have prevented any progress towards implementation over past 18 months."
> First of all, the ITU claims of effective and efficient performace for similar functions is based on the administration of the international telephone numbering plan and related numbering resources.  ENUM is not a well established, widely deployed technology, so at this time it is in no way similar to either the telephone system or to IP addresses or to Internet domain names.
> While it is true that the protocol work on ENUM was completed rapidly by IETF, IETF requested that ITU take care of certain administrative issues related to implementation.  Discussion of implementation issues rapidly led to the realization that implementation of ENUM raises a number of complex policy issues in areas such as consumer protection, data privacy, competition policy, and others.
> Discussion of these complex issues has taken some time.  The debates are not primarily procedural, but substantive.  It is not clear that the debates within ITU have actually prevented progress towards implementation.  More information on ENUM, including implementation plans, can be found at:
>   http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/enum/index.html
> One of the issues that has been debated within ITU with respect to ENUM implementation is precisely one of the issues that has been raised by Stuart Lynn in his paper on reform, namely the role of governments.  This issue arises because it is proposed to implement ENUM using the top-level domain name ".arpa" which is administered by IANA - that is by ICANN - which, as we all know, operates under an MoU with the US Government.  This situation has led to some concerns being expressed by some countries.
> Stuart has said: "... it is simply unrealistic to believe that global coordination of the DNS can succeed without more active involvement of governments."  Whether the same might be true for ENUM is being debated.  Stuart has also said: "... the current role of the US Government is not consistent with long-term global stability."  Some have raised this issue in the context of ENUM and the question is being debated.
> Thus, the complexity of the discussion on ENUM within ITU is, in a sense, directly related to the issue of ICANN reform.  Implementation of ENUM would have been a less controversial subject if certain elements of the ICANN reform envisaged by Stuart had been acted upon prior to the development of ENUM.
> With respect to the efficency of ITU-T in general, ITU-T has introduced a new approval process for recommendations that are technical and have no policy aspects.  This is called the Alternative Approval Process, AAP.  In the first nine months of operation, 112 Recommendations were approved after a formal online consultation > process that lasts 4 weeks (of course the preparation of the texts for approval took more than 4 weeks).
> Finally, it should be noted that complex issues require time for adequate discussion and consensus-building no matter what the forum.  For example, the complexity of the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) issues has given rise to lengthy discussions within IETF.
> Richard Hill
> -----------------------------------------
> Richard Hill
> Counsellor, SG2
> International Telecommunication Union
> Place des Nations
> CH-1211 Geneva 20
> Switzerland
> tel: +41 22 730 5887
> FAX: +41 22 730 5853
> Email: richard.hill@itu.int
> Study Group 2 email: tsbsg2@itu.int


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