How To Use Alternative Roots
(and why you should)
Q: What is ORSC?
A: ORSC is the name by which we have dubbed "enhanced" top-level domain
servers and their client systems. This network comprises a set of
alternative "root" nameservers to those which are operated by the IANA
and other individuals and firms.
Q: Why do I want to support ORSC?
A: Choice! You have much more than .COM, .ORG, .NET and .EDU available to
you. ORSC includes over many other top-level domains, all with different
policies, pricing, customer service standards and choice of venue. More
are being added every day.
Q: Isn't the ICANN adding new domains?
A: Yes. But they are trying to force all TLD registration authority to
operate under one business model (shared), one jurisdiction (US), and
one set of registration policies for customers. We believe this is not
in the customer's best interest.
Q: Will I be able to get to the ICANN TLDs, as well as COM, NET, ORG and EDU
if I use ORSC on my network?
A: *YES*, with two exceptions.
The legacy TLDs (COM/ORG/NET/EDU/GOV/MIL) are fully supported. All ISO
country-code domains are also supported. All ICANN domains *with the
exception of .BIZ and .INFO, which were claimed by another organization
BEFORE the ICANN was even constituted, will be supported. .BIZ and .INFO
to point to the ORSC registrars for each, respectively.
Q: How do I become a registrar under ORSC?
A: The procedure is simple. Set up the necessary software and business
support to run your registry. Then request your TLD(s) be added by
sending emial to hostmaster at orsc.net.
Q: People say you're "trying to control the namespace", and that you're
"greedy money-grubbing monopolists". How do you answer that charge?
A: At the ORSC root there is no money changing hands. None at all. No
fees are being levied, no publication is taking place, no control being
exerted that would justify such a charge. In fact, the structure of ORSC
is such that significant concentration of market power just cannot be
Q: But doesn't this just allow individual registries to "own" TLDs and
monopolize their piece of the namespace?
A: Monopoly in this context is misleading at best, and a highly-charged
and emotional word. Nobody tries to walk into a Burger King and
insist on being able to order a Big Mac. Yet in both stores one can
buy a hamburger. They are *different*, yet in many ways the same
product. Likewise, Domain Names, with sufficient diversity, are
different and yet the same product.
Q: People have said that you're just trying to dictate the rules and impose
your own "new world order". How do you answer that charge?
A: Nobody can impose anything. That's the whole point. We *do* think we
have a better mousetrap, and the buy-in we're getting from the network
community is considerable. But if, tomorrow, any of us decide to walk
all over our published policies and directives, the Internet community
is empowered to, and *SHOULD*, throw all of us out on our ears.
Q: Won't this lead to chaos with hundreds or thousands of TLDs out there?
A: On the contrary! Think of the obvious examples -- Southwest.airline,
Apple.computer, Apple.records, Ford.car. If anything, confusion will
be *decreased*. Finally, consider that if you're really looking for a
site, and can't find it, what do you do today? You use a search engine
such as Yahoo. That model won't change, and if anything, it will
Q: What about legal issues and jurisdiction?
A: ORSC is *the* only solution to this mess. By causing jurisdictions to
"attach" at the Registry level, there is now one cohesive legal
environment for each top-level domain to operate under. If you have a
dispute, you now have a place to take it. Further, with much competitive
diversity, you've solved yet another problem -- you'll likely want to
register in a TLD which is governed somewhat-locally, which means that
your legal venue will be local as well.
Q: What about other countries?
A: This is the beauty of ORSC. With TLDs free to enter the market at any
time, along with registries, TLDs which have no meaning in the English
language will be set up in other countries. At least for now, since
there is no UNICODE version of BIND (the representation system for
multi-character alphabetic symbols) we are limited to the Arabic
alphabet. But even this is expected to change in the future. The point
is that that the French should be, and under ORSC are, free to delegate
TLDs which have meaning to the French-speaking population and operate
them under their own set of policies and rules.
Q: How about stability and operational integrity? How do we know that
the ORSC will actually work and be stable enough for a production
A: It already is a proven environment. Several ISPs have been running with
alternative roots now for years now. Not *ONE* operational
incident or service-affecting problem has ever been traced to them. In
the same amount of time two separate incidents have struck the
IANA-controlled root nameservers, including two unannounced and
unintentional segments of downtime and severe cache data corruption on
some of the IANA root nameservers (this ultimately led to a code fix in
the BIND software).
Suggestions for additions and changes can be sent to "email@example.com"
Open Root Server Confederation
A project of and for the Internet community