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A Uniform Resource Name (URN) for Emergency and Other Well-Known Services
RFC 5031

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (January 2008; Errata)
Updated by RFC 7163
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 5031 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Jon Peterson
Send notices to: ecrit-chairs@tools.ietf.org

Network Working Group                                     H. Schulzrinne
Request for Comments: 5031                                   Columbia U.
Category: Standards Track                                   January 2008

                   A Uniform Resource Name (URN) for
                Emergency and Other Well-Known Services

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   The content of many communication services depends on the context,
   such as the user's location.  We describe a 'service' URN that allows
   well-known context-dependent services that can be resolved in a
   distributed manner to be identified.  Examples include emergency
   services, directory assistance, and call-before-you-dig hot lines.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  Registration Template  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   4.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     4.1.  New Service-Identifying Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     4.2.  Sub-Services for the 'sos' Service . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.3.  Sub-Services for the 'counseling' Service  . . . . . . . .  8
     4.4.  Initial IANA Registration  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  Internationalization Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     7.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     7.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   Appendix A.  Alternative Approaches Considered . . . . . . . . . . 13
   Appendix B.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Schulzrinne                 Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 5031                      Service URN                   January 2008

1.  Introduction

   In existing telecommunications systems, there are many well-known
   communication and information services that are offered by loosely
   coordinated entities across a large geographic region, with well-
   known identifiers.  Some of the services are operated by governments
   or regulated monopolies, others by competing commercial enterprises.
   Examples include emergency services (reached by dialing 9-1-1 in
   North America, 1-1-2 in Europe), community services and volunteer
   opportunities (2-1-1 in some regions of the United States), telephone
   directory and repair services (4-1-1 and 6-1-1 in the United States
   and Canada), government information services (3-1-1 in some cities in
   the United States), lawyer referral services (1-800-LAWYER), car
   roadside assistance (automobile clubs), and pizza delivery services.
   Unfortunately, almost all of them are limited in scope to a single
   country or possibly a group of countries, such as those belonging to
   the North American Numbering Plan or the European Union.  The same
   identifiers are often used for other purposes outside that region,
   making access to such services difficult when users travel or use
   devices produced outside their home country.

   These services are characterized by long-term stability of user-
   visible identifiers, decentralized administration of the underlying
   service, and a well-defined resolution or mapping mechanism.  For
   example, there is no national coordination or call center for "9-1-1"
   in the United States; rather, various local government organizations
   cooperate to provide this service based on jurisdictions.

   In this document, we propose a URN namespace that, together with
   resolution protocols beyond the scope of this document, allows us to
   define such global, well-known services, while distributing the
   actual implementation across a large number of service-providing
   entities.  There are many ways to divide provision of such services,
   such as dividing responsibility by geographic region or by the
   service provider a user chooses.  In addition, users can choose
   different mapping service providers that in turn manage how
   geographic locations are mapped to service providers.

   Availability of such service identifiers allows end systems to convey
   information about the desired service to other network entities.  For
   example, an IP phone could have a special set of short cuts, address

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