[dns-operations] When TLDs have apex A records

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Mon Jul 6 16:37:46 UTC 2009

[I know I said I wouldn't comment further, but given the amount of  
private e-mail I have received on this topic over the last 24 hours,  
it would seem I need to clarify]

On Jul 5, 2009, at 7:42 PM, Randy Bush wrote:
>>> i think we have a good demonstration that no new gtlds are actually
>>> needed.
>> Others would appear to have a different opinion.
> they just have religion?

One person's religion is another's well thought out rational stance.

> who bears costs:
>  o root operators have more data to sign, serve, ...

Root operators do not sign.  For the root, signing will be done by  
VeriSign (who, last I checked, makes O(US $1 billion) on their  
registry services).

The root operators do serve, but a technical evaluation done by OARC I  
commissioned looking at how potential growth scenarios would impact  
the root server I have some say over indicates that there is  
sufficient headroom to cover any foreseeable growth in TLDs (yes,  
we'll be publishing that analysis).  I am reasonably confident other  
root servers are similar.  And if not, there will be a pool of money  
that I would assume would be perfectly appropriate to be applied to  
growing root server capacity (assuming, of course, that the root  
server operators would accept that money).

>  o trademark holders now have more places to pay

It would seem that not all trademark holders care that much since you  
don't see those trademark holders buying domains in all the TLDs  
they're able to today.

>  o users have less cachability

An interesting point and one worth looking into. Will put this on my  
research list.

> who benefits:
>  o icann gets more money
>  o some domainers get more money

o Some folks who are unable to obtain the names they want will have  
new namespaces to use
o There may be improved categorization (e.g., serenity.movie instead  
of cantstopthesignal.com)
o There may be new applications (e.g., signed and vetted .bank)
o Potential reduction in average query length

> oh goodie.

To be clear, I do not have a strong opinion on the question of opening  
up new gTLDs (albeit I do have opinions how how it should be done).  I  
understand and have some sympathy towards the IPR concerns but I also  
understand and have some sympathy for concerns about desirable name  
availability and namespace innovation.  I know it is a favorite sport  
of some particularly in the technical community to paint ICANN (and  
especially ICANN staff) as fundamentally evil and/or incompetent, but  
having seen the sausage being made, I can assure you that the  
situation is _far_ from the black and white/"lawyers, slime, sharks,  
and sheep" vs. "virtuous engineers" world you portray.

In any event, the initiator for this thread was related to whether or  
not it was appropriate for ICANN's board to pass a resolution that  
disallows wildcards at the top level in gTLDs.  I have yet to see an  
application of wildcards at the top level in which the benefits  
outweigh the risks. I do not believe ICANN's board is deaf to further  
technical input or analysis and they have been known to change their  
minds.  However, barring that, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree  
about whether disallowing wildcards at the top level a good thing or  


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