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Ad Hoc Group on Future Numbering Requirements

In response to requests from a number of interested companies and individuals, in August 1999 ICANN created an ad hoc group to study and report on requirements for future numbering policies. The objective of the ad hoc group was to identify issues and problems of relevance to future policy in the area of addressing and numbering.

The work of the ad hoc group took place in a public comment forum, and was open to any interested participant or observer.

The work of the ad hoc group was concluded in March 2001. A report prepared in the group was referred to the Address Supporting Organization.


At the August 1999 ICANN meeting in Santiago a resolution was adopted to establish an ad hoc group to be charged with developing the objectives and proposing structures for future policies in the area of numbering, especially as required to meet global market needs and taking into account the convergence of information technology services and networks. A draft charter for the ad hoc group was endorsed by the ICANN Board at its November 1999 meeting in Los Angeles, as follows:

Charter for the Ad Hoc group

The ad hoc group should identify the key technology, commercial and economic drivers that will affect addressing and numbering in the Internet. Recognising the risks of specifying modifications to core Internet technologies in a small group that inevitably understands some elements of the picture better than others, the group will identify issues, problems, risks, and opportunities, but is not expected to propose, much less adopt, technical solutions to them. The assessment must include current trends in services and network convergence and globalisation, particularly those emerging from the telecommunications sector, as well as changes in the demands on traditional IP address space. Examples of technology forces to be considered include IMT 2000, 3GPP, and Bluetooth. The group will examine and identify any characteristics of these applications that they believe are so unusual as to challenge the Internet's technical tradition of an application-independent basic architecture for addressing and routing structures.

The ad hoc group shall focus on the future demands and impacts these new technologies will have on the administration of IP address space. Particular attention must be given towards global policy formation and the identification of any requirements to Internet addressing in the future. If the ad hoc group identifies areas in which they believe changes to addressing architectures or other technologies should be considered, they should clearly identify the problems that require resolution rather than suggesting technical solutions so that appropriate responses to those requirements can be considered in a broader more open and technically responsive forum.

Additional information

The Ad Hoc Group will work through a dedicated ICANN Public Comment Forum on the ICANN website. Representatives of the organizations specified within the Resolution passed at the ICANN meeting held in Santiago (August 1999) have been invited to post their observations to this Forum. In order to progress work within the challenging timescale set out in the ICANN Resolution the ICANN Board has invited a small Editorial Group to co-ordinate the Forum.

The group includes representatives of businesses, including telecom operators and Internet service providers and trade organizations, the ASO Council, the ICANN Board, and other legitimately interested parties. The group will present an interim report before the second ICANN public meeting in 2000. A final report from the ad hoc group will be presented to the ICANN Board prior to the Annual Meeting in 2000.

All conclusions and recommendations will be posted on the ICANN web site for public comment.


1. Draft Charter - Consideration by the ICANN Board - ICANN meeting LA 1-4 Nov. 99
2. Posting of the ICANN Public Comment Forum and invitation to contribute 26 Nov. 99
3. Posting of the Interim Report 14 May 2000
4. Interim report to ICANN Board Q2 2000
5. Final report to ICANN Board Q3 2000

Members of the Editorial Group

The ad hoc group had a small editorial to coordinate the on-line forum. Its members were:

For the IAB/IESG on behalf of the IETF:

For the RIRs:

From the Address Council:

From the ISP Trade Associations:

From the telecommunications operators:

Click here to view the public comment forum

Completion of the Ad Hoc Group's Work

On 13 March 2001, the ICANN Bord passed the following resolutions, completing the work of the ad hoc group:

Whereas, on 26 August 1999, in resolution 99.79, the Board established an ad hoc group to be charged with developing the objectives and proposing structures for future policies in the area of numbering, especially as required to meet global market needs and taking into account the convergence of information technology services and networks;

Whereas, an Ad Hoc Group on Numbering and Addressing was convened for discussion of these issues by way of a web-based public comment forum established for that purpose under the guidance of an editorial group;

Whereas, in the time since establishment of the forum various participants have made useful contributions to the web-based public comment forum on numbering and addressing issues, including an extensive report posted by Mark McFadden and Tony Holmes on 8 March 2001;

It is therefore

RESOLVED [01.16] that the Board refers the 8 March 2001 McFadden/Holmes report to the Address Council of the Address Supporting Organization for further consideration and development of recommendations as appropriate by that body;

RESOLVED [01.17] that the Board declares the work of the Ad Hoc Group on Numbering and Addressing completed;

RESOLVED [01.18] that the Board requests the ICANN staff to arrange for continued on-line archiving of the substantive postings of the Ad Hoc Group for a suitable period of at least one year; and

RESOLVED [01.19] that the Board thanks Mark McFadden, Tony Holmes, and the editorial group for their significant contributions to the work of the Ad Hoc Group.

Click here to view the McFadden/Holmes Report

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