Stability of the Internet?

Richard Welty rwelty at
Fri May 18 15:23:28 UTC 2001

At 08:04 AM 5/18/01 -0700, Tim Langdell, PhD wrote:
>There has been much talk of the introduction of new TLDs -- either new
>ICANN/DoC ones or those of the likes of New.Net -- affecting the "stability"
>of the Internet. And yet so far on all the lists, not just this one, I have
>not seen a single example of how the "stability" would or could be affected
>by such introductions. Can anyone give me even one example?

i don't see where there's a problem if there is a single root, but in the
cases where there are "add on" roots which a limited portion of the
internet can see, or even worse, competing roots which are advertising
competing versions of the same TLDs, the loss of symmetry has some
significant implications for support and operations.

for example, it will be possible to send mail to folks who cannot easily
reply because they cannot resolve your domain name, or vice versa. this
could dramatically affect support costs, especially at dial ISPs with
lots of naive users who when, confronted with this problem, will call the
support lines.

likewise, when support staffs are confronted with problems that involve folks
whose DNS they cannot see, or when they are seeing problems with one
version of and their DNS is showing them a different resolution
of, it's going to get messy and expensive. lower level staff will
not be competent to handle these issues in many NOCs, leading to more
escalations to higher tiers. clearance rates in call centers will decline.

how bad this is will depend entirely on to what extent alternative TLDs
penetrate in these scenarios. obviously this potential exists today, but
hasn't had a significant effect that i'm aware of, becaue the penetration
of the alternative TLDs is insignificant. if or one of the others were
to take off to any significant degree, this would likely change. i decline to
guess what the increased support costs might amount to.

will it be the end of the world? no. but will costs (and thus rates) go
up? yes.


Richard Welty
Averill Park Networking
rwelty at

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