Multiplexed Internet Domain Names
Imagine that domain names are like towns and cities. Some top-level domains are huge, many are small, and some are definitely ghost towns.
Each town and
city has named streets and roads, but there can only be one
street with any unique name in each town. In today's
domain name system today, you
have to own your own street to live in that city.
Now imagine that several people or companies want to live on 'the same street' in the same town. You add house numbers to street names for each property. It means you don't need to own your street just to live there, you need a property address on the street.
simple, real life principle behind Multiplexed Domain
Names. The concept and technology are simple.
Social acceptance may be a little harder - but it's worth the
effort, given the advantages.
Occam's razor -
users want .com domains and national users often prefer
country code domains, but domain multiplexing can be applied
equally to any top level.
ICANN's new generic TLDs lost 9,469,561 registrations between last April 1, 2020, and April 1 this year, while legacy .com added 6,165,255.
There are now 153 million .com names registered. Where will the next 150 million .com names come from?
Müller is the
most common surname in Germany, but there can be only one
Do you see the problem in this pattern?
Most names, and even trademark terms, are not unique!
The domain name system is
hierarchical, Multiplexed Names add a
hierarchical level within second level
extra level supports multiple use of 'the same' name without
ambiguity under the same top-level domain.
Examples could include name.com, name*1.com, name*2.com, etc.
We suggest the
asterisk as a multiplexing symbol since it is universally
known and often means 'wildcard' (potentially 'one of
asterisk in domain names requires a small code addition.
The asterisk, by
design, is part of the character set that
cannot be translated by the Internationalized Domain Name
(IDN) software that lives in every web browser.
An alternative, IDN-based solution is quick and simple but
wouldn't work in the US and isn't universal.
Universality - the same character meaning the same thing
regardless of TLD - is highly desirable for security and
National or regional variants could facilitate the rapid application of name multiplexing however The Euro sign € provides a simple multiplexing token for members of the European Union: examples could include müller€1.de, martin€2.fr, and so on. The UK could apply the pound sign £ for the same purpose.
Other countries or
regions could standardize their own convention.
Improvement can be applied equally to all top-level domains, but is needed most in the legacy .com and country code TLDs.
solved by Multiplexed Names include:
one can buy and warehouse a domain name to prevent
it from being used, or to extract an unreasonable
price. Name speculation, which raises prices
by restricting access to names, becomes less
In principle, modern browsers that combine the address line with a search function already support the concept of Multiplexed Names.
this proposal grant Verisign, who run the .com
registry, an unfair advantage? No, user
preference is the final arbiter since this proposal
treats all top-level domains
Domain names as we know them were introduced in 1983. The only major improvement since then was the introduction of Internationalized Domain Names that support characters and scripts outside standard ASCII English. Internationalized Domain Names were introduced in 2003!
new generic Top Level Domains are not an
improvement, they don't support normal
When the US Department of Commerce created ICANN never mentioned customer benefit or user demand. Their primary concern was: "... widespread dissatisfaction about the absence of competition in domain name registration."
Commerce ICANN was built on supply side push - Internet users were never asked if they wanted thousands of new Top Level Domains. The results show they didn't.
The DoC also runs the US Patent and Trademark Office. They could have said: "compete by inventing a better system" but instead ICANN was founded and populated by groups that supported launching new TLDs - to have something to sell.
More than 1900 ngTLD applications were submitted and over 1200 new TLDs have been delegated (made active) since October, 2013, but they don't solve user problems.
new generic top-level domains - fiasco, farce
Legacy .com TLD continues to grow. The number of registered .com domains is now over 153 million. The 266 county code TLDs together add almost 159 million registrations.
How have ICANN's new generic top-level domains worked out? Very poorly!- The ngTLDs have lost 9.4 million registrations from April 1, 2020, through April 1, 2021 (source: namestat.org/s/newgtld-summary)
- The total number of registrations has now fallen below the level first reached 5 years ago, on November 25, 2016! At the same time an additional 74 new top levels have become generally available (source: ntldstats.com and /launch).
- Much of the past year's loss relates to one domain (.icu) which has fallen from 6.3 million registrations in April, 2020, to 740-thousand today (source: namestat.org/). The ngTLD in question lost 124,774 registrations on February 11, and 190,406 on Feb. 27.
A reasonable question: who registered million of 'unused' domain names, and why? Was it a registry 'fear of missing out' ploy to inflate figures in hopes that casual users would be tricked into registering more domains, or perhaps an attempt to create a false secondary market with inflated prices?
Was this the kind of 'competition' envisioned by the Department of Commerce when it sanctioned ICANN, or is it fraud? If this level of manipulation is accepted in the market, can we trust any ngTLD registration figures? Should we believe that only 10 ngTLDs have captured 55% of the market, or believe the reported size of the 'market' at all?
These abuses are based on the domain name system's immature technology; Multiplexed Names are designed to combat these abuses.
- Failing to see a return on investment, numerous organizations (at least 85 so far) have cut their losses and withdrawn or discontinued their .brand ngTLDs.
New generic TLDs are not a value proposition for users and may represent intent to defraud. It's better to open the Internet by providing unlimited names under TLDs users want.
Internet Domain Name System was never designed
to provide universal naming, and that caused a
number of problems now so ingrained that most
people accepted them as inevitable.
Things as common as domain name disputes, name
warehousing and auctions, and the drive to
market unwanted new TLDs are consequences of a
system not designed to provide universal
The basic problem: most people, companies and trademark holders can't use their own name under their preferred top-level domain.
The DNS is a technical system written to a technical specification. Problems can be resolved by extending the specification. This was done when Internationalized Domain Names made it possible to use 'foreign' characters and scripts in domain names.
Multiplexed Domain Names introduce a hierarchy within second level names. It's like adding street numbers to street names within a city. This makes the name-space under any top-level domain virtually unlimited.
We need a new token character to identify/generate a hierarchy. We suggest the asterisk as a multiplexing token, together with a number or letter(s).
it to the accepted character that designates
email addresses. MaratSade.fr could be
seen as a domain name, but write it
Mar@Sade.fr and you recognize it instantly as
an email address.
same transparency can apply to domain names if
an asterisk indicates multiple use of the same
name. Marat*2.fr and Marat*5.fr would
resolve as different, separate
domains under the French
country code top-level domain.
The asterisk is often used as a wild card character indicating 'one of many'. The final number (or letter) indicates 'which one' of several users of the same name.
Technically, names are registered in a set format and translated by a simple edge application to include the multiplexing token. This is similar to, but not the same as, the system used to generate foreign characters and scripts in Internationalized Domain Names.
domain names ICANN's responsibility?
Can't you just add numbers, or edit the
software already used to translate foreign
When did it become appropriate to let organizations like ICANN define the problems, create the solutions, and then universally sanction those solutions without competition or independent oversight?
Multiplexed Domain Names are a technical step toward Universalized Domain Names. Multiplexed Names nested with Internationalized Names make Universalized names available to anyone, anywhere, in any language or script - under their country code, legacy, or preferred new generic top-level domain.
Is Internet access a human right? In that case registering your own name, under your preferred TLD, should also be your right. Otherwise you support a privileged minority owning their names and excluding the majority.
Registering your own domain name isn't a problem when Everyone can be a Star. (Updated December 3, 2020)
Names demonstrate how the Internet domain name
system can evolve to eliminate unnecessary
restrictions and provide relevant names for
Multiplexed Names are not offered as a supported product; we have no interest, past or present, in any domain registry, registrar, or re-seller.
The combined URL address line/search field in modern browsers is ready to support Multiplexed Domain Names through disambiguation.
The Multiplexed Domain Names in our test follow all applicable Internet standards, but the translation format we have used is not standardized.
Last updated April 7, 2021