International Ad Hoc Committee Disbanded. New Group Formed.

WASHINGTON, DC, May 15 -- With the signing of a memorandum of understanding to effect Internet self-regulation in the registration of Internet domain names, the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) has disbanded and formed in its place an interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC).

The IAHC, in its final report in February, announced the creation of seven new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and the establishment of additional registrars to conclude the chartered monopoly currently administered by Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI). The implementation of that plan began May 2, 1997, with a signing ceremony in Geneva which now includes approximately 100 organizations worldwide.

An early result of the self-regulation aspect of the IAHC plan has been the elimination of the lottery process in the selection of new registrars and the opening of that opportunity to all qualified applicants, not just the 28 as originally proposed. Information on applications to become a registrar will be found at <>

The Memorandum of Understanding signed in Geneva calls for the creation of a Council of Registrars (CORE) to manage and maintain the central databases for each gTLD, all shared by the new registrars. CORE will be responsible to a Policy Oversight Committee (POC) which will derive its direction from a Policy Advisory Body (PAB) whose members come from the signatories to the gTLD-MoU.

The Policy Oversight Committee (POC) will not be officially convened until the new registrars are selected and CORE is established. An interim POC (iPOC), which includes most of the members of the IAHC, will serve through a transition period during which new POC appointees will assume the responsibility.

Don Heath, President and CEO of the Internet Society, has announced he will step down from his role as chairman of the IAHC. In doing so, he said, "The IAHC completed a formidable task. We faced many complex problems in Internet self-governance, but successfully developed innovative solutions to them. Naturally, the work of implementation is just beginning, but the way in which the Internet community has come together to debate, discuss, and solve a thorny set of issues is truly something for which we can all take pride."

Heath also announced that the interim POC had elected as its first chair, David W. Maher, a current member of the IAHC. Maher is a registered patent attorney and a partner in the law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal with offices in Chicago and other cities. Heath said "I am pleased to announce that Mr. Maher has been named by the Internet Society to serve a full term as one of its appointees to the POC and that he was elected Chair to serve through this critical transition phase."

According to Maher, "There is considerable work to be done to implement the recommendations of the IAHC Report and establish the new gTLDs. The first task of the iPOC is to create the legal documents for the operation and structure of CORE, and then address the complex technical aspects of allowing shared databases for the new gTLDs. With the cooperation of the Policy Advisory Body, all of this will be done in a manner consistent with established principles of Internet self-governance."

Other members of the IAHC will be leaving the iPOC as the appointees to the POC are determined and begin their terms. A number of leading Internet organizations will be selecting POC representatives. Two each will be named from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), Internet Society (ISOC), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Council of Registrars (CORE) and one each from the Representative of the Depository of the MoU, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the International Trademark Association (INTA).

The IAHC effort was initiated by the Internet Society (ISOC) in conjunction with a proposal by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and represents a continuing effort by ISOC to ensure stability, security, and the continued evolution of the Internet through principles of self-governance.

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