Overview[edit | edit source]

The International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) was a group[1] formed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the Internet Society and other groups to study and reform the administration and operation of the generic top-level domain system ("gTLD").

The group issued its "Final Report of the International Ad Hoc Committee: Recommendations for Administration and Management of gTLDs" (full-text) (“Final Report”) on February 4, 1997. The IAHC proposed to add a new registry containing seven new generic top-level domains to the domain name system. Under the proposal, an international consortium of competing registrars, headquartered in Switzerland, would run the new registry on a not-for-profit basis.

On February 28, 1997, the IAHC issued a "Memorandum of Understanding on the Generic Top Level Domain Name Space of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority," ("gTLD-MoU") (full-text) which set forth a framework for the structure, policies and procedures to govern the administration of seven new gTLDs. By November 1997, 179 entities had signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

To assess whether the IAHC proposal should be supported by the U.S. government, the executive branch created an interagency group to address the domain name issue and assigned lead responsibility to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce (DOC). On June 5, 1998, the DOC issued a final statement of policy, "Management of Internet Names and Addresses.” Called the White Paper, the statement indicated that the U.S. government was prepared to recognize and enter into agreement with "a new not-for-profit corporation formed by private sector Internet stakeholders to administer policy for the Internet name and address system."[2] In deciding upon an entity with which to enter such an agreement, the U.S. government would assess whether the new system ensured stability, competition, private and bottom-up coordination, and fair representation of the Internet community as a whole.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The IAHC was comprised of representatives from the Internet Society, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and other organizations.
  2. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Management of Internet Names and Addresses, 63 Fed. Reg. 31741 (June 10, 1998).
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