8.2 Overview of JPNIC
1. History and organization.
Japan Network Information Center, hereafter abbreviated as JPNIC,was founded as a Union of Internet service providers in Japan in Aprilof 1993. On March 31, 1997, it was given permission by the governmentto register as a probono association. Until that time, although it hadbeen operating as a "quasi-association", it had actually been doingactivities similar to that of a registered association. Since then, theofficially acknowledged successor has taken over all the rights,responsibilities, and undertakings of its predecessor, including JPdomain name assignment and IP address assignment in Japan. Inaddition, it has added some new activities concerning education andcensus on the Japanese Internet. As a whole, the registration is oneof the memorable pages in JPNIC's history, and will ensure thecontinuous evolution of the association.
JPNIC is made up of a general assembly, a board of trustees, asteering committee, and a secretariat. The general assembly decidesbudgets, authorizes audit reports, elects the trustees, and makesother important decisions. Members of the steering committee areappointed by the board. While the number of trustees was 7 when itexisted as a quasi-association, the number of trustees has sincereached 15. The secretariat currently consists of 14 employees.
The budget for the fiscal year 1997 is about 4.7 million U.S. dollars; 41% of which is from membership fees, 23% from assignment charges,and the remaining part being the balance carried over from theprevious fiscal year.
2. JP domains
JP domain names are categorized into two groups: one beingfunctional type domains, and the other, geographicaldomains. Currently, we have 7 functional types, each of which isidentified by a 2-letter code second level domain name. For example,NIC.AD.JP is assigned to JPNIC itself, which is working on networkadministration, so that the domain name has "AD" as its second leveldomain name. The seven second levels are AD, CO, AC, GO, OR, NE andGR.
Geographical domains have suitable codes indicating the location ofthe organization, as the second level. JPNIC's assigning policy is roughly summarized as follows:
2.1. first come, first served,
2.2. one domain name per organization,
2.4. local presence in Japan.
For the principles 2.2 and 2.3, analogous policy may not be foundin the InterNIC's com domains. JPNIC thinks these principles playimportant roles in reducing possible conflicts of domain names, andprevent trading of domain names, of which JPNIC thinks adds little tothe development of the Internet.
To speak about the roles of each functional type, "NE" is probablysomewhat special for JPNIC. Domain names with this second level areassigned to services on the Internet which will issue IDs toindividual clients. One such example of this is the famous commercialservice "Compuserve" in the US. However, if JPNIC assigns a CO.JPdomain name to such a service, then there will be no way todistinguish the e-mail addresses of the employees of the servicecompany and the e-mail addresses of the clients. Therefore, JPNICintroduced "NE" second level in order to make a distinction betweenthese two.
3. IP addresses
JPNIC allocates blocks of IP addresses to member ISPs, and theyassign the necessary amount of addresses to users. This procedure isnow based on an Internet draft RFC 2050. As is well known, shortage ofIP addresses is an essential problem on the Internet recently,therefore JPNIC is doing its best to attain maximum usage rate.
4. Recent topics
Here is a summary of recent topics in JPNIC activities.
4.1 Introducing new functional type "GR" (Dec. 1,1997),
4.2 Sponsored a gTLD-MoU information session "New Developments in the Domain Name System" (Nov.7, 1997),
4.3 Change membership fee and assignment charge (Apr.1, 1997),
4.4 Incorporation of JPNIC as a government authorized probono association(Mar. 31, 1997),
4.5 Revising documents for IP address assignment to reflect RFC2050,
4.6 Discussion on trademark and domain names.
The new second level "GR" is for "GROUP". This second level wasintroduced for groups of persons and organizations which are notlegally registered. The main theme of the gTLD-MoU information session was thedevelopment of Internet Top Level Domain Names which had beendiscussed internationally since last year. Mr. David W. Maher,chairman of the interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC) which hadtaken a role of leadership for this issue, and five other membersattended the session and reported the recent status of the subject andanswered questions.
4.5 is to follow new international guidelines. Concerning 4.6, thesteering committee has been discussing the problem in house for morethan 1 year and, also, with some associations which are in charge ofintellectual properties and trademarks.