Domain requirements
RFC 920

Document Type RFC - Unknown (October 1984; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          J. Postel
Request for Comments: 920                                    J. Reynolds
                                                            October 1984

                          Domain Requirements

Status of this Memo

   This memo is a policy statement on the requirements of establishing a
   new domain in the ARPA-Internet and the DARPA research community.
   This is an official policy statement of the IAB and the DARPA.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   This memo restates and refines the requirements on establishing a
   Domain first described in RFC-881 [1].  It adds considerable detail
   to that discussion, and introduces the limited set of top level

The Purpose of Domains

   Domains are administrative entities.  The purpose and expected use of
   domains is to divide the name management required of a central
   administration and assign it to sub-administrations.  There are no
   geographical, topological, or technological constraints on a domain.
   The hosts in a domain need not have common hardware or software, nor
   even common protocols.  Most of the requirements and limitations on
   domains are designed to ensure responsible administration.

   The domain system is a tree-structured global name space that has a
   few top level domains.  The top level domains are subdivided into
   second level domains.  The second level domains may be subdivided
   into third level domains, and so on.

   The administration of a domain requires controlling the assignment of
   names within that domain and providing access to the names and name
   related information (such as addresses) to users both inside and
   outside the domain.

Postel & Reynolds                                               [Page 1]

RFC 920                                                     October 1984
Domain Requirements

General Purpose Domains

   While the initial domain name "ARPA" arises from the history of the
   development of this system and environment, in the future most of the
   top level names will be very general categories like "government",
   "education", or "commercial".  The motivation is to provide an
   organization name that is free of undesirable semantics.

   After a short period of initial experimentation, all current
   ARPA-Internet hosts will select some domain other than ARPA for their
   future use.  The use of ARPA as a top level domain will eventually

Initial Set of Top Level Domains

   The initial top level domain names are:


         ARPA  =  The current ARPA-Internet hosts.


         GOV  =  Government, any government related domains meeting the
                 second level requirements.

         EDU  =  Education, any education related domains meeting the
                 second level requirements.

         COM  =  Commercial, any commercial related domains meeting the
                 second level requirements.

         MIL  =  Military, any military related domains meeting the
                 second level requirements.

         ORG  =  Organization, any other domains meeting the second
                 level requirements.


         The English two letter code (alpha-2) identifying a country
         according the the ISO Standard for "Codes for the
         Representation of Names of Countries" [5].

Postel & Reynolds                                               [Page 2]

RFC 920                                                     October 1984
Domain Requirements


         A multiorganization may be a top level domain if it is large,
         and is composed of other organizations; particularly if the
         multiorganization can not be easily classified into one of the
         categories and is international in scope.

Possible Examples of Domains

   The following examples are fictions of the authors' creation, any
   similarity to the real world is coincidental.

   The UC Domain

      It might be that a large state wide university with, say, nine
      campuses and several laboratories may want to form a domain.  Each
      campus or major off-campus laboratory might then be a subdomain,
      and within each subdomain, each department could be further
      distinguished.  This university might be a second level domain in
      the education category.

      One might see domain style names for hosts in this domain like


   The MIT Domain

      Another large university may have many hosts using a variety of
      machine types, some even using several families of protocols.
      However, the administrators at this university may see no need for
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