RFC 881 (rfc881) - Page 1 of 10

Domain names plan and schedule

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Network Working Group                                          J. Postel
Request for Comments: 881                                            ISI
                                                           November 1983

                   The Domain Names Plan and Schedule

This RFC outlines a plan and schedule for the implementation of domain
style names throughout the DDN/ARPA Internet community.  The
introduction of domain style names will impact all hosts on the DDN/ARPA

The Plan


      Domain style names are being introduced in the Internet to allow a
      controlled delegation of the authority and responsibility for
      adding hosts to the system.  This also allows a subdivision of the
      task of maintaining information about hosts.

      The subdivision will be based on administrative authority or
      organization boundaries (not necessarily network boundaries).
      Certain requirements will be placed on organizations wishing to be
      "top level" domains.  Initially, all the hosts in the Internet
      will be in the domain "ARPA".  As soon as is practical a second
      domain, "DDN", will be introduced.  Other domains may be added
      after that, provided the requirements listed below are met.

      Domain names will be supported in the long run by a system of
      special servers called "domain servers" which will be used to
      translate names to addresses.  While this system of domain servers
      is being created and programs are being converted to use them, the
      existing host tables will evolve to include domain style names.

      The domain server design also provides for mapping mailbox
      addresses to the host name of the mail server for that mailbox.
      This feature allows mailboxes to be related to an organization
      rather than to a specific host.

      This plan will be implemented in the ARPA community.  After the
      domain system is demonstrated in the ARPA community, the DDN
      Program Management Office (DDN-PMO) will determine the schedule
      for implementation of the domain system in the DDN community.
      This approach will cause some extra steps in the ARPA community
      implementation, and may limit communication between the ARPA and
      DDN communities in some ways.  The details and implications of
      this two phase approach are discussed more fully below.


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