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Haiti TLD

An exchange of letters over the Haitian TLD
16 May 1997

Message-Id: <> Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 11:05:12 -0400
To: heath@isoc.org
From: REHRED <rehred@acn2.net>
Subject: [NIC-961127.4583] HT, Haitian National TLD
Sender: owner-haiti-l@conicit.ve

Dear Mr Don Heath (ISOC President),

You have been informed lately of discussions concerning the Haiti TLD following the unexpected decision of IANA to redelegate .HT administration from REHRED (a non profit institution which federates universities, NGOs and governmental organisations), to HINTELFOCUS (which is about to be the second ISP to market in Haiti, after ACN, a national company marketing data communications since 1994).

During these discussions, IANA did not offer convincing answers based on the current regulations, if any, and is indicating that it is standing in the position of waiting further instructions from the Haitian government.

We formally ask you, as the ISOC President, to set up some mechanism to investigate an action which is based in no Internet documented rules and then appears as an abuse of power of an Internet body.

We also require you to put in hold the specific IANA decision meanwhile, so to allow the normal development of the concertation process (which was scheduled by REHRED, prior to the change) for the set up a consortium of all the relevant parties.


The IANA position opens a set of precedents which ISOC may want to carefully evaluate before letting them stand:

In the specific Haitian situation, IANA position creates a deadlock: IANA pretends a communication from the government is the only way to stepback a decision this government has not requested.

Furthermore, this position could have the consequence to embarass a government which have been somehow induced in directing a request erroneously to IANA instead of the TLD admin. contact (see hereafter point 3).


See URL: http://www.ht.refer.org/rehred/domaine/index.html or http://www.funredes.org/funredes/domaine/ for more details

1) REHRED have normally (although very slowly) be granted the Haiti TLD (URL: http://www.ht.refer.org/rehred/domaine/ante_in/d9.txt or http://www.funredes.org/funredes/domaine/ante_in/d9.txt)

2) IANA has answered to a request from a third party (FOCUSDATA) that "REHRED has the TLD with the government support"

(see URL: http://www.ht.refer.org/rehred/domaine/actu_out/d11.txt or http://www.funredes.org/funredes/domaine/actu_out/d11.txt)

Comment: this is a FALSE statement and we are still waiting the answer from IANA to explain it.

3) This statement apparently acted as a signal for the third party to request the government to open a communication to IANA (instead of REHRED).

4) The Ministry of Telecom of Haiti asked by letter the Foreign Affair Ministry to convey to IANA a request for the attribution of an IP number to the third party below the .HT domain (see the transcript in URL:

http://www.ht.refer.org/rehred/domaine/ref/tptc.txt or

Comment: we all know the difference between requesting an IP number and a TLD responsibility.

5) The Foreign Affair Ministry asked by fax IANA to "grant FOCUSDATA a non exclusive use of the .HT domain". (see URL: http://www.ht.refer.org/rehred/domaine/actu_in/d4.txt or http://www.funredes.org/funredes/domaine/actu_in/d4.txt)

Comment: this does not mean neither requesting a redelegation.

6) Instead of following the procedures, IANA decided to redelegate the Haitian TLD to HINTELFOCUS with an unprecedented efficiency, and without any intent to have the parties reaching agreement.

Comment: this creates a "fait accompli" situation which is not prone to help building consensus in Haiti.


a) We are confident that IANA will not be able to contradict, in front of al the cc: parties, any piece of information we have stated here or referred to.

b) If there is additional information we are not aware of which could justify or explain IANA's decision (like for instance another communication allowing them to interpret the government fax), we kindly but firmly request IANA to transparently and publically expose it.

Not doing so leaves the room wide open to believe that IANA took that decision based on i n f l u e n c e s rather than objective communication. Is that conform with the Internet etiquette and the model of participative democracy we are building together?

c) We kindly request the Internet Society Board of Directors to give the due attention to our request for the abilitation of some kind of= arbitrage

d) We finally insist that the last action of IANA must be suspended until= the arbitrage procedure is completed so that to restore the working and= consensual conditions in our country.


REHRED is still taking part to all steps within the Haitian parties to set up a national consortium relative to the management and the promotion of the TLD HT, in accordance with its original perspective

In name of REHRED:

Odile REIHER, president
Bernard ZAUGG, coordinator

REHRED, Réseau Télématique Ha=EFtien pour la Recherche et le Développement
Rue Babiole #23, Port-au-Prince, Haïti

e-mail: rehred@acn2.net
tel: +1 509 45-3973 (45-1981, 45-7699)
fax: +1 509 45-3973 (45-7699)

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 13:46:23 -0400
To: REHRED <rehred@acn2.net>
From: Don Heath <heath@isoc.org>
Subject: Re: [NIC-961127.4583] HT, Haitian National TLD
In-Reply-To: <>
Sender: owner-haiti-l@conicit.ve

Dear Mr. Reiher:

I have seen many, many emails flash by on this subject, and I have kept most on file. It seems that the issues have been amplified beyond what should be reasonable.

IANA has a long and respected history of administering policies regarding domain names, IP address allocation, and other identifiers for Internet communications. They have established registrars in nearly 200 countries for the administration of ISO 3166 "country codes" domain name services. They have established a policy that defers to the national governments of those countries regarding who should be the registrar for the ISO 3166 TLD, if that government elects to assert itself in those issues.

It seems to me that the situation, at this point, is an internal issue to Haiti and that the Haitian government should insert itself into the process. If they choose to not participate, at this point, they should then make that clear. If the Haitian government decides to take a neutral, or "hands-off" position, then IANA can rely on existing RFC policy to arrive at a conclusion.

As IANA has made clear, if the Haitian government elects to assert its authority in the matter, IANA will defer accordingly.

Donald M. Heath
Internet Society

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 16:09:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sam Lanfranco lanfran@internet.idrc.ca>
To: Don Heath <heath@isoc.org>
Subject: Re: [NIC-961127.4583] HT, Haitian National TLD
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.970523155121.15061B-100000@internet>
Sender: owner-haiti-l@conicit.ve

It is my opinion that within the rhetoric of all sides there is a clear picture emerging as a result of the additional voices in this discussion. The picture continues to paint two issues that have to be dealt with as seperate problems. The second continues to be what constitutes due process around IANA (and how IANA revises its rules).

The first has changed a bit in light of further information. Before the additional information, that IANA recognizes the wishes of national governments as decisive, several of us were arguing that the government was just another stakeholder in the process. Clearly, that is not the case according to current IANA practive. The implication is clear and while it may look like we have goine full circle, we have shed light on a lot of Haitian background and a lot of IANA issues.

The Haitian government becomes the key player at this point and has three options.

  1. It can say nothing and by implication support how IANA handled the process
  2. It can say that IANA did understand its intent in the original communication from the government and:
    a. be a bit critical of how IANA handled it
    b. not say a word about how IANA handled it
  3. It can say that IANA did NOT undestand its intent and that it will instruct IANA afer the current round of internal Haitian consultations.

In reality, it is hard to see how saying nothing is a wise position for the Haitian government. If IANA says that the decision is up to the Haitian government, it would be wise for the Haitian government to take the lead and exercise that authority. I would hope for option #3 and leave it to Haitians to judge if the government acts wisely or not.

Others, including Haiti, can then turn their attention to what is working well and what is working poorly in the largert setting re: IANA and its procedures. Given the information we now have I would advise the Haitian government to take the leadership and not remain silent.

Sam Lanfranco

Sam Lanfranco
Senior Program Specialis
Bellanet International Secretariat
c/o IDRC, Ottawa CANADA K1G 3H9

URL: http://www.bellanet.org
Tel.: +1-613-236-6163 x.2263
Fax: +1-613-238-7230