Schools and the US Domain

Jon Postel postel at ISI.EDU
Wed Jan 20 03:11:50 UTC 1993


Many schools are now connecting to the Internet and registering in the
Internet Domain Name System.  A decision has been made by the Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority (after consultation with the new INTERNIC
Internet Registry and the FNC) to direct these school registrations to
the US domain using the naming structure described in RFC 1386.

There is a need for competent, experienced, volunteers to come forward
to act as second and perhaps third level registeries and to operate
delegated portions on the domain name space.

Specifically, if you would like to operate a branch of the US domain
name space according to the plan laid out in RFC 1386 to register
schools please let us know.

	Contact <us-domain at>

--jon & Ann.

Registering Schools in the US Domain

A few high schools (and other schools) have been registered in the
EDU domain.  This practice can not continue indefinitely since there
are too many schools.

There are two reasons (1) uniqueness of names, and (2) management of
the database.

1. Name Uniqueness:

	There are many "Washington" high schools, only one can be
	"Washington.EDU" (actually none can be, since that name is
	used by a (University).  There will be many name conlficts
	if all schools attempt to register directly under EDU.

2. Database Management:

	One goal of the DNS is to divide up the management of the
	name database in to small pieces.  Each piece (or "zone" 
	in DNS terminology) could be managed by a distinct 
	administrator.  Adding all the high schools to the EDU 
	domain will make the already large zone file for EDU even 
	larger, possibly to the point of being unmanagable.

For both these reasons it is necessary to introduce structure into
names.  Structure provides a basis for making common names unique in
context, and for dividing the management responsibility.

The US Domain has a framework established and has registered a few
high schools already in a structured scheme.  The general form of this
structured scheme is:


for example:


Generally school names are unique within a district, and this provides
two points at which to delegate a branch of the database to distinct
administrators -- the K12 administrator for each state, and the
district administrator for each district within a state.

Yes, these name are generally longer than the current apparent
alternative in the EDU domain, but that cannot last long without a
significant number of schools finding that their "obviously correct"
name has already been used by some other school.

The US Domain Administrator will delegate a branch of the US domain to
an appropriate party.  In some cases, this may be a particular school,
a school district, or ever all of K12 for a state.

The responsibility for managing a K12 branch or sub-branch may be
delegated to an appropriate volunteer.  We envision that such
delegations of the schools DNS service may eventually migrate to
someone else "more appropriate" from an administrative organizational
point of view.  The "obvious" state agency to manage the schools DNS
branch may take some time to get up to speed on Internetting.  In the
meantime we can have the more advanced schools up and running.

For more about the US Domain see RFC 1386.


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