US Domain -- County Delegations

Michael Dillon writes:-

This would seem to indicate that geographical domains are a bad idea and
that domain names should be based on some characteristic that is less
likely to change over time.

The issue is surely one of who is prepared to do the work, and not one
of routing or co-location. The present 3-letter domains have little in
common wrt geography (eg some .com and .org sites are in Africa), but
rather they have a lot to do with the association between the

If you have a city-based domain structure, then you have the problem of
the address changing (or should change, of course in practice this will
be resisted) when someone moves to a new area code within the USA, just
like a telephone number changes (which of course it does). Because
this problem exists with telephones does not mean that it has to exist
on the Internet. I'd like to think that if someone left South Africa,
or someone from the US spent some time out here, that the text form (ie
what humans remember) of their address would not have to change (and I
don't mean simply the forwarding of email via a .forward file). If some
is willing to register a domain and run it properly, IMHO
life would be a lot easier than requiring hackers to change their
address each time that they move.


If you have a city-based domain structure, then you have the problem
of the address changing (or should change [...]

For some reason that I have never understood, whenever the idea of
geographical domain names is mentioned, many people assume a restrictive
scheme in which folk will be forced (or at least encouraged) to rename
if they move.

There is a spectrum of geographical domain naming schemes. At the
restrictive end of the spectrum are schemes that force you to register
a name associated with the area where you live or do business, and
force you to relinquish your old domain name and register a new one if
you move to a different geographical area. At the permissive of the
spectrum are schemes that permit you to register domain names that are
associated with geographical areas that you have never even visited,
much less lived in.

I happen to think that a fairly permissive geographical scheme makes
sense. Let folk register if they have a big
enough presence in that country to satisfy whatever requirements
are imposed by the country domain administrator (national
companies and large universities would probably qualify). Let
them register if they have a big enough
presence in that province/state to satisfy the requirements
of the provincial/state domain administrator (medium sized
companies and most universities would probably qualify). Otherwise
let them register or if they live or have a business
presence in the relevant district/county/town/city. Let the
city authorities create a level if
they want to. Let sufficiently large, well-known or important
geographical areas register higher up in the hierarchy than might
otherwise be appropriate (for example,
instead of, or instead
of Run all these in parallel, so
that folk can choose between
and if both domains are
appropriate. Permit folk to keep their domain name if they move out
of the area in which it was registered. Permit them to register in
districts/cities where they don't live, at the discretion of the
district domain administrator (for example, allowing folk who don't
live in Hollywood to register might lead
to scaling problems, but allowing folk who don't live in Izotsha to
register is much less likely to lead to scaling

--apb (Alan Barrett)