February 12, 2003
Clyde Ensslin or
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002
NTIA Backs New Linkage of Internet Addresses with Telephone Numbers
NTIA today pledged active U.S. government participation in the global effort, known as "ENUM" and now under way, to match phone numbers with Internet addresses. ENUM would enable U.S. citizens to communicate both voice and text messages through one single identifier, either a telephone number or an e-mail address.
In a letter from Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nancy J. Victory to Ambassador David A. Gross, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, NTIA recommends that the U.S. take initial steps toward "opting in" to e164.arpa, the new global Internet domain set aside for the matching of Internet addresses and telephone numbers.
The letter sets forth principles of security, competition, and individual privacy standards to guide domestic implementation of ENUM that will maximize competitive opportunities for industry while protecting the privacy and security of consumers in the United States. The text of the letter is available on the NTIA Web site at www.ntia.doc.gov.
NTIA will work with the U.S. State Department and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to resolve domestic and international implementation issues, the letter said. If the U.S. opts in to ENUM through International Telecommunication Union (ITU) procedures, U.S. companies may then establish trials and begin to provide ENUM services to U.S. businesses and consumers.