[dns-operations] Enabling the IPv6-only Internet: the Final TLDs

Jim Reid jim at rfc1035.com
Thu Sep 10 12:41:24 UTC 2015

On 9 Sep 2015, at 07:04, Shane Kerr <shane at time-travellers.org> wrote:

> Again, I'm not sure why you think that I or anyone else has suggested
> that someone is telling people how to run their TLD (which I note has
> migrated into ccTLD at some point in your mail).

Shane, almost all the gTLDs have contracts with ICANN. Apart from maybe .us, no ccTLD has a contract with ICANN. So whatever influence you hope ICANN has here would only be effective with the parties who have contracts with ICANN, assuming any necessary contract amendements could get through the ICANN policy-making machinery.

> My question about ICANN was mostly because I assume that ICANN has
> better contact with TLD operators than anyone else, and that they may
> have technical resources to advise or assist them.

And I'm sure the lovely people at IANA have been down that path many times already. As have others such as ISOC, CENTR, various IPv6 pressure groups, etc.

> On further reflection though, I think it was a mistake for ICANN to not
> require IPv6 for the IDN TLD.

I think you're mistaken. If ICANN was to decide policy for (IDN) ccTLDs, that impinges on national sovereignty. This brings a world of almighty pain. ICANN's getting more than enough grief already because its gTLD contracts conflict with national law. Requiring contracts for ccTLDs would just pour tanker-loads of petrol on those flames. IIRC, it was decided when IDN ccTLDs were created that ICANN would treat these like regular ccTLDs: ie no contracts or commitment to be bound by ICANN policies.

> I'm sorry that you feel that people offering high-quality, free service
> as a public good is damaging to the world.

I did not say that and I was certainly not disparaging the organisations you mentioned. They of course provide a great, stable DNS service.

However having the name servers answering queries reliably is just one aspect of this. The other factors I mentioned -- SLAs, keeping up to date contact info, escalation procedures, SPoF avoidance, defining mutual roles and resonsibilities etc -- are just as important, if not more so. These fall by the wayside when there's no contract and everything's done on a best efforts basis. A TLD operator or its overlords needn't think about these things when they're getting DNS for free on the basis of little more than a handshake.

> But even if you are right that free DNS is bad, who are you to tell
> people how to run their DNS? ;)

I did not say free DNS is bad. I am saying it needs to be underpinned by a written agreement which documents the roles and responsibilities of both parties.

Without that agreement, those offering free DNS service haven't really progressed from the days of sparky.army.mil even if they have a far superior and much more robust infrastructure behind them than sparky ever had.

> My proposal is "try to do something to help". You idea is that this is
> wrong, and therefore we should... not?

No. My point is trying to help has repeatedly failed, not only on IPv6 BTW. [What was it someone once said about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?] AFAIK nobody has done root cause analysis on why those efforts failed. That might be something you could look into.

>> An approach which might work is to contact these ccTLDs and say "You
>> seem to be having problems. How can we help?". But if the contacts
>> can't be reached or don't respond...
> As I mentioned in my initial e-mail, that's what I tried to do. Now
> I am trying to see if there are people who have better contacts (there
> are) or if people have other ideas (they do).

The only thing which might work is to persuade the local stakeholders to take action. I alluded to this earlier. However, they may well see things rather differently and have rather more important priorities. I alluded to that too.

> I hope the result of this poking may be 4 or 5 TLD which turn on IPv6 in short order.

Knock yourself out. I wish you every success.

> Sorry for all the unhappiness this has caused you.

It's causing no unhappiness at all Shane and I hope I'm not causing you any either.

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