Thursday, March 06, 2008

BPN 1029 Dutch distributed numeric domains, but how

Last week the Dutch responsible institution for the distribution of domains SIDN finally started with numeric domains. In two days there were 500.000 requests. The landrush led however to a serious discussion among hosting companies, as a small number of companies took thousands of domains by barricading the access ports. Despite the protests the SIDN management considered the procedure fair. But politicians want to strike the results and demand an inquiry.

Before the landrush a number of domains had been set aside, as they are for general use such as the alarm number and the public transport information service But as soon as the landrush was open a few ISPs kept the access ports occupied for 20 minutes with technical tricks. In fact they actions bore similarity to ddos attacks. The distribution was on a first come, first serve basis.

SIDN said in a press release that for every possible domain there were 13 requests. When the landrush started 10.000 connections with the SIDN mail servers were attempted. In the first 10 minutes 10.000 requests were handled; on the first day by 16 p.m. 121.000 requests had been processed. In total 14.500 domains have been given out. The mail servers could only handle 200 simulaneous requests and one connection per IP-address. SIDN thinks that it handled the procedure fairly and that everyone had a fair chance.

However, one ISP gave an insight in how it picked up no less than 2.579 domains., an ISP with a site for photographs, was after numeric number in the 2100 years series and the Telephone area codes. The numbers in the 2100 series were for births and marriages; the area codes in order to couple public albums with In order to be sure to pick up these domains, the ISP designed a project with a budget of 35.000 euro and a preparation time of 2 months.

The chairman of the ISP association, ISPconnect had lodged a protest against this method. MijnAlbum and Funbit, both not members of the ISP association, have used excessive technical power to keep the e-mail servers blocked, so that other ISPs did not have a fair chance. No less than 63 members of the 250 ISP members have sent their experience to the association. This information is being processed and bundled for publication and possible legal procedures.

Also politicians have commented on the procedure and have asked to strike the allotted domains. One politician even went further and proposed to terminate the SIDN and transfer the domain activities to the telecom watchdog OPTA, which is also responsible for the allotment of telephone numbers. A system of attribution is preferred instead of a first come, first serve basis.

Blog Posting Number: 1029

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