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TLD Names - Suggestions


If there is still time to consider further suggestions to the TLD hierachy,
then perhaps you might like to consider this:

We do not necessarily need any new top level domains if the current top
level domains were demoted a level and the correct country code appended,
i.e. the country codes become the top-level domains. Thus www.microsoft.com
would become www.microsoft.com.us. Following this through logically we would
then no longer need each country's own homegrown domain names, e.g. in the
United Kingdom safeway.co.uk would become safeway.com.uk and newcastle.ac.uk
would become newcastle.edu.uk. Any new or changed "second-level domains"
required could still be added as necessary below the country level and this
would also allow countries who did not wish to join in the new second level
domain names to maintain their old names, e.g. the UK may prefer to keep ac
rather than adopt edu.

Each country could then have a government appointed non-profit making body
to administer the names for their domain. On an implementation level, each
country would manage the top level domain name servers for their country -
this would have a beneficial effect on net-traffic, since at the top level
domain name servers could route lookup requests more easily.

This would also provide the basis for a legal and business framework.
Organisations would have to have a legal presence in a country in order to
register a domain name with that country's two letter code. This would allow
like-named but distinct organisations to have nearly the same domain names,
e.g. safeway.com.uk would be distinct from safeway.com.us. I know the
Internet has grown because of the lack of national boundaries (both physical
and legal), but if we are to have a network where business can take place,
people will need to have the reassurance that ultimately they are dealing
with a physical and legal entity.

Just as in the physical world there will be organisations with the same name
in different countries, so on the Internet the same situation could exist.
This will allow smaller entities to still have a presence on the Internet.
This is a good thing, we do not want a situation whereby the Internet
becomes the preserve of multinationals. Small enterprises are still
essential to every country's economy and if that economy is going to become
increasingly dependent on the Internet, then size should not be a barrier to

Naturally large multinationals could, if they choose, register a domain name
with the domain name registrars in each country they have a presence in, but
they tend to do register multiple domains anyway with the current system, so
this is not a problem.

Another benefit, would be to make searches for information more accurate. If
you were only interested in companies selling widgets in France, then you
(or your search engine) could restrict the search to *.fr safe in the
knowledge that you would not have missed anything. Ultimately this should
decrease net traffic as Internet users will have a higher success rate and
would be spending less of their time making unnecessary transatlantic or
transpacific connections. Similarly, as long as people were registered with
a national ISP, their email address would indicate which country they were

At the other end of the domain hierarchy, I agree with the comments voiced
by Rick Clark in the ICANN archived message "having your domain name and
eating it too", in which he argues that local conflicts could be resolved by
having industry domains so that farm.mcdonalds.tm.us is distinct from
restaurant.mcdonalds.tm.us. Merging this system with my suggestions, the
example would change to farm.mcdonalds.com.us is distinct from
restaurant.mcdonalds.com.us. Also Rick's suggestion of a .num TLD prepended
by meaningless alphanumeric names would be a useful addition/exception to
the above scheme, since it would provide the benefits he describes as well
as a means of remaining reasonably anonymous if there is a requirement for
Thank you for reading this,

Michael Clemmetsen
email: michael.clemmetsen@syntegra.bt.co.uk
The opinions voiced here are mine and do not reflect those of my employer