Internet Architecture Board


IAB Statement on Infrastructure Domain and Subdomains, May 2000.

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IAB Statement on Infrastructure Domain and Subdomains

Over the last several months, the IAB has been reviewing, and discussing with ICANN and other parties, the handling of various Internet Protocol-related infrastructure components that the community has concluded should be placed into the DNS. Historically, the most visible infrastructure domain has been the IPv4 address reverse-mapping domain. This domain was placed in “” as part of the initial ARPANET transition strategy from host table naming (see, e.g., RFC 881). It became the only active subdomain of that domain as the .arpa names that were also part of the transition were gradually removed. Other infrastructure domains have been placed under the “INT” TLD or under various organizational names.

It is in the interest of general Internet stability, adequate attention to placement of secondary DNS servers, and administrative cleanliness, to start rationalizing this situation by locating new infrastructure subdomains in a single domain and migrating existing ones to it as appropriate. It appears that our original infrastructure domain, “ARPA”, redesignated from an abbreviation for “ARPANET” to an acronym for “Address and Routing Parameters Area” is best suited for this purpose, rather than our getting further entangled with issues about what is appropriately an international organization and how that domain should be maintained.

Consequently, we recommend the following to the IESG:

(i) No new infrastructure domains should be added to “.INT”, and protocols that need specific domain roots should be rooted elsewhere (see ii)

(ii) For the reasons discussed above, new infrastructure domains arising from IETF protocols should be allocated in “.ARPA”, with that TLD to be managed (as essentially it always has been) by the IANA as one of its protocol registry tasks. The US Department of Commerce (which reviews TLD designations and authorizes ICANN to add tasks to the IANA work list) has approved of this use, at our request.

(iii) We recommend that IETF-related infrastructure subdomains now under .INT be reviewed as to whether the costs of moving them exceed the risks of leaving them in place. ICANN is committed to the stability of those subdomains for however long they need to be in place, with guidance from IAB (or some other body of the IETF’s choosing) as to their management; we believe that we can work successfully with them on transition plans (or “freeze delegation in place” ones) as their plans for INT administration evolve. However, we believe that it is quite important that the new IPv6 reverse-mapping domain, and any other significant new IETF name spaces, be allocated in the “.ARPA” space and not in “.INT”.

John Klensin, for the IAB