ICANN’s Latest is .Tel


Most people have lots of different contact methods or telephone numbers. The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted to make them easier to handle with the approval of a new top-level domain (TLD).

According to minutes from last week’s ICANN board of directors’ meeting, the group approved the .tel, which will provide a DNS -type approach to resolving the problem of multiple modes of contact.

London-based Telnic will administer the domain.


The promise of .tel is that users will no longer have to use a
a numeric address to contact someone.

They’ll be able to reach
someone by typing in “companyname.tel,” which will then connect them
to the company through a variety of means, including traditional
telephony, VoIP, e-mail or instant messaging.


“The days of needing to remember several telephone numbers, numerous VoIP or
instant message identities and other points of contact for our social and
professional networks are over,” Khashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic, said in a
statement.

“By leveraging innovative DNS (Domain Name System) technology,
the .tel domain will allow anyone to publish and control, in real time, how
they can be reached.”


Although the board voted unanimously in favor of approving the .tel domain,
board member Susan Crawford did raise a few concerns about ICANN’s
role in the process.


“I want to note that the .tel application does raise substantial concerns
about the merits of continuing to believe that ICANN has the ability to
choose who should sponsor a particular domain or, indeed, that sponsorship
is a meaningful concept in a diverse world,” Crawford said in the
meeting notes. “And I hope that we will explore this question in the
future.”

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