European industry representatives will meet in Brussels tomorrow to shunt ahead the latest US plan designed to reform the Internet?s name and address system.
The meeting, hosted by the European Commission, is a prelude to a Geneva conference this month where it is hoped country representatives will agree on a framework for a non-profit corporation to manage the address scheme.
The European Commission will be making sure that it is strongly represented in the proposed corporation. This is an extremely delicate point as initial US proposals were sharply criticised for lacking in global insight.
The meeting will revolve around plans issued by the Commerce Department last month for phasing out US government management of the Internet address system that enables users to send email and access Web sites. The Commerce Department promotes the idea of a corporation that will resolve such questions as how to alleviate the growing commercial pressure for new address names. It will also have to get around the problem of ending the monopoly enjoyed by Network Solutions, a US company under government contract that registers names under the three current domains - ?.com?, ?.net? and ?.org?.
Some Internet specialists believe that the new corporation may be forced to add a layer of top level domains to the existing three. The Geneva-based Internet Council of Registrars (CORE) which represents 87 registrars in 27 countries was going to introduce a revamped system for registering Internet addresses this spring. It put its plans on hold following the Commerce Department?s report and is now known to generally support the US?s stance.
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