Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

U.S. backs merging Net, phone numbers

U.S. backs merging Net, phone numbers

By Declan McCullagh

Staff Writer, CNET

February 13, 2003, 6:15 PM PT

WASHINGTON--The Bush administration is lending its support to an international proposal to map telephone numbers to Internet addresses.

In a recent internal letter, the Commerce Department recommended that the United States participate in an emerging electronic numbering system, known as ENUM, that will allow people to use one identifier for many different purposes, including mobile phones, e-mail, instant messaging and faxes. ENUM is designed to accelerate the convergence of the telephone network and the Internet and is expected to offer a huge boost to online telephony services.

"The United States should seize this opportunity and take steps to participate in, consistent with the highest standards of security, competition, and privacy," wrote Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory in the letter to the State Department. The domain that will be used with ENUM addresses ends with


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