Multiplexed Internet Domain Names
Müller is the
most common surname in Germany, but there can be only one müller.de
Do you see the problem in this pattern?
Most names, and even trademark terms, are not unique!
Multiplexed domain names introduce a hierarchy within second level names. This 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.
A simple solution for European Union users is € - the Euro sign - as the multiplexing token: examples could include müller€1.de, martin€2.fr, murphy€3.ie and so on. The EU solution is quick and simple, but isn't universal. Universality is highly desirable, but if the Internet continues to fragment perhaps it is only desirable but not mandatory.
Improvement is needed most in the legacy .com and country code TLDs, but could be applied equally to all top-level domains.
by multiplexed names include:
- Users who want a presence on the Internet can own their own identities instead of becoming a product sold to advertisers by social network sites. Compare the total number of registered second level names with the global population of Facebook users.
- No 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
Modern browsers that combine the address line and a search function already support the concept of multiplexed names.
proposal grant Verisign, who run the .com registry, an unfair
advantage? No, since this proposal treats all top-level
domains equally, user preference is the final arbiter.
Remember however that in 2000 Verisign invested $21 billion to buy Network Solutions (NSI) and with it the right to run the .com registry. They took a significant business risk to achieve their position.
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!
ICANN's new generic Top Level Domains are not
an improvement, they don't support normal users.
When the US Department of Commerce created ICANN their
primary concern was:
Commerce never mentioned customer benefit or user demand. 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.
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.
The legacy .com TLD continues to grow. The number of registered .com domains is over 148.5 million (http://research.domaintools.com/statistics/tld-counts/).
The 266 county code TLDs together add at least another 157.6 million registrations.
How have ICANN's 1,200+ new generic top-level domains worked out? Not very well.- The total number of ngTLD registrations peaked at under 30 million in April, 2017, and then fell below that number for years. Growth since November, 2019, pushed the count past 32 million (https://namestat.org/s/newgtld-summary) but the curve has gone negative since early March. In the 8 weeks leading up to July 3, the new top-level domains lost nearly 340-thousand names (source: namestat.org/s/newgtld-summary) while legacy .com added 908,804.
- One ngTLD registers 5.9 million second level names (down from 6.7 million), the next largest registers 3.2 million. Only 8 of the 1187 ngTLDs register more than 1 million names.
- The third largest ngTLD has lost nearly 3.64 million registrations since July, 2016.
- The top 10 ngTLDs account for 64% of all ngTLD registrations (https://ntldstats.com), and the top five alone account for 48%!
- The bottom 42% of ngTLDs register 10 domains or fewer!
- New generic TLDs can gain or lose thousands of registrations in a day - gains are based on intensive marketing and, we can presume, domainer purchases for intended resale at inflated prices. Losses are a result of non-renewals. It's a game, not a value proposition for users.
- Failing to see value materialize, numerous organizations have cut their losses and withdrawn their .brand ngTLD applications.
Unfortunately many domain names, under both legacy and new generic top levels, aren't actually used.
If ngTLDs don't resolve domain name problems, what does ICANN propose to do? They're talking about opening yet another round of ngTLD applications!
Isn't it better to expand the Internet by providing unlimited names instead of the ngTLDs merchants want to impose?
The 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 the system not being designed to provide universal naming.
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.
Since the domain name system is hierarchical, multiplexed names add a hierarchical level 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).
Compare 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. The same can apply to domain names, where * is the character indicating multiple use of the same name.
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, and more transparent than, the system used to generate foreign characters and scripts in Internationalized Domain Names.
names ICANN's responsibility? Can't you just add
numbers, or edit the software already used to translate
When did it become appropriate to let organizations like ICANN and the IETF define the problems, create the solutions, and then universally sanction those solutions without competition or independent oversight? Do you want Boeing to design, manufacture, and approve its own aircraft without competition or FAA review?
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 March 24, 2020)
Multiplexed names are not offered as a supported product; we want to demonstrate how the Internet domain name system can evolve to eliminate unnecessary naming restrictions and provide relevant names for everyone. 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 disambiguation of multiplexed domain names.
Multiplexed domain names under our test follow all applicable Internet standards, but the translation format used in our tests is not standardized.
Last updated July 3, 2020