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Network Working Group A. Cooper Request for Comments: 1480 J. Postel Obsoletes: 1386 June 1993

                           The US Domain

Status of this Memo

 This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
 not specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is

Table of Contents

 1.  Introduction ................................................  2
     1.1  The Internet Domain Name System.........................  2
     1.2  Top-Level Domains.......................................  3
     1.3  The US Domain ..........................................  4
 2.  Naming Structure ............................................  4
     2.1  State Codes ............................................  8
     2.2  Locality Names..........................................  8
     2.3  Schools ................................................ 10
     2.4  State Agencies.......................................... 15
     2.5  Federal Agencies ....................................... 15
     2.6  Distributed National Institutes......................... 15
     2.7  General Independent Entities............................ 16
     2.8  Examples of Names....................................... 17
 3.  Registration ................................................ 20
     3.1  Requirements ........................................... 20
     3.2  Direct Entries ......................................... 21
     3.2.1   IP-Hosts............................................. 21
     3.2.2   Non-IP Hosts ........................................ 21
     3.3  Delegated Subdomains ................................... 24
     3.3.1   Delegation Requirement............................... 26
     3.3.2   Delegation Procedures ............................... 28
     3.3.3   Subdomain Contacts................................... 29
 4.  Database Information......................................... 30
     4.1  Name Servers ........................................... 30
     4.2  Zone files ............................................. 30
     4.3  Resource Records ....................................... 31
     4.3.1   "A" Records ......................................... 32
     4.3.2   CNAME Records ....................................... 32
     4.3.3   MX Records .......................................... 33
     4.3.4   HINFO Records ....................................... 33
     4.3.5   PTR Records ......................................... 33
     4.4  Wildcards .............................................. 34
 5.  References .................................................. 35

Cooper & Postel [Page 1] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 6.  Security Considerations ..................................... 35
 7.  Authors' Addresses .......................................... 36
 Appendix-I:  US Domain Names BNF................................. 37
 Appendix-II: US Domain Questionnaire ............................ 42


 1.1 The Internet Domain Name System
 The Domain Name System (DNS) provides for the translation between
 hostnames and addresses.  Within the Internet, this means translating
 from a name such as "", to an IP address such as
 "".  The DNS is a set of protocols and databases.  The
 protocols define the syntax and semantics for a query language to ask
 questions about information located by DNS-style names.  The
 databases are distributed and replicated.  There is no dependence on
 a single central server, and each part of the database is provided in
 at least two servers.
 The assignment of the 32-bit IP addresses is a separate activity.  IP
 addresses are delegated by the central Internet Registry to regional
 authorities (such as the RIPE NCC for Europe) and the network
 To have a network number assigned please contact your network service
 provider or regional registration authority.  To determine who this
 is (or as a last resort), you can contact the central Internet
 Registry at Hostmaster@INTERNIC.NET.
 In addition to translating names to addresses for hosts that are on
 the Internet, the DNS provides for registering DNS-style names for
 other hosts reachable (via electronic mail) through gateways or mail
 relays.  The records for such name registrations point to an Internet
 host (one with an IP address) that acts as a mail forwarder for the
 registered host.  For example, the host "" is
 registered in the DNS with a pointer to the mail relay
 "".  This type of pointer is called an MX record.
 This gives electronic mail users a uniform mail addressing syntax and
 avoids making users aware of the underlying network boundaries.
 The reason for the development of the domain system was growth in the
 Internet.  The hostname to address mappings were maintained by the
 InterNIC in a single file, called HOSTS.TXT, which was FTP'd by all
 the hosts on the Internet.  The network population was changing in
 character.  The time-share hosts that made up the original ARPANET
 were being replaced with local networks of workstations.  Local
 organizations were administering their own names and addresses, but

Cooper & Postel [Page 2] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 had to wait for the NIC to make changes in HOSTS.TXT to make the
 changes visible to the Internet at large.  Organizations also wanted
 some local structure on the name space.  The applications on the
 Internet were getting more sophisticated and creating a need for
 general purpose name service.  The idea of a hierarchical name space,
 with the hierarchy roughly corresponding to organizational structure,
 and names using "." as the character to mark the boundary between
 hierarchy levels was developed.  A design using a distributed
 database and generalized resources was implemented.
 The DNS provides standard formats for resource data, standard methods
 for querying the database, and standard methods for name servers to
 refresh local data from other name servers.
 1.2  Top-Level Domains
 The top-level domains in the DNS are EDU, COM, GOV, MIL, ORG, INT,
 and NET, and all the 2-letter country codes from the list of
 countries in ISO-3166.  The establishment of new top-level domains is
 managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).  The IANA
 may be contacted at IANA@ISI.EDU.
 Even though the original intention was that any educational
 institution anywhere in the world could be registered under the EDU
 domain, in practice, it has turned out with few exceptions, only
 those in the United States have registered under EDU, similarly with
 COM (for commercial). In other countries, everything is registered
 under the 2-letter country code, often with some subdivision.  For
 example, in Korea (KR) the second level names are AC for academic
 community, CO for commercial, GO for government, and RE for research.
 However, each country may go its own way about organizing its domain,
 and many have.
 There are no current plans of putting all of the organizational
 domains EDU, GOV, COM, etc., under US.  These name tokens are not
 used in the US Domain to avoid confusion.
 Currently, only four year colleges and universities are being
 registered in the EDU domain.  All other schools are being registered
 in the US Domain.
 There are also concerns about the size of the other top-level domains
 (especially COM) and ideas are being considered for restructuring.
 Other names sometimes appear as top-level domain names.  Some people
 have made up names in the DNS-style without coordinating or
 registering  with the DNS management.  Some names that typically
 appear are BITNET, UUCP, and two-letter codes for continents, such as

Cooper & Postel [Page 3] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 "NA" for North America (this conflicts with the official Internet
 code for Namibia).
 For example, the DNS-style name "KA7EEJ.CO.USA.NA" is used in the
 amateur radio network.  These addresses are never supposed to show up
 on the Internet but they do occasionally.  The amateur radio network
 people created their own naming scheme, and it interferes sometimes
 with Internet addresses.
 1.3  The US Domain
 The US Domain is an official top-level domain in the DNS of the
 Internet community.  The domain administrators are Jon Postel and Ann
 Westine Cooper at the Information Sciences Institute of the
 University of Southern California (USC-ISI).
 US is the ISO-3166 2-letter country code for the United States and
 thus the US Domain is established as a top-level domain and
 registered with the InterNIC the same way other country domains are.
 Because organizations in the United States have registered primarily
 in the EDU and COM domains, little use was initially made of the US
 domain.  In the past, the computers registered in the US Domain were
 primarily owned by small companies or individuals with computers at
 home.  However, the US Domain has grown and currently registers hosts
 in federal government agencies, state government agencies, K12
 schools, community colleges, technical/vocational schools, private
 schools, libraries, city and county government agencies, to name a
 Initially, the administration of the US Domain was managed solely by
 the Domain Registrar.  However, due to the increase in registrations,
 administration of subdomains is being delegated to others.
 Any computer in the United States may be registered in the US Domain.


 The US Domain hierarchy is based on political geography.  The basic
 name space under US is the state name space, then the "locality" name
 space, (like a city, or county) then organization or computer name
 and so on.
 For example:

Cooper & Postel [Page 4] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 There is of course no problem with running out of names.
 The things that are named are individual computers.
 If you register now in one city and then move, the database can be
 updated with a new name in your new city, and a pointer can be set up
 from your old name to your new name.  This type of pointer is called
 a CNAME record.
 The use of unregistered names is not effective and causes problems
 for other users.  Inventing your own name and using it without
 registering is not a good idea.
 In addition to strictly geographically names, some special names are
 used, such as FED, STATE, AGENCY, DISTRICT, K12, LIB, CC, CITY, and
 COUNTY.  Several new name spaces have been created, DNI, GEN, and
 TEC, and a minor change under the "locality" name space was made to
 the existing CITY and COUNTY subdomains by abbreviating them to CI
 and CO.  A detailed description follows.
 Below US, Parallel to States:
 "FED" - This branch may be used for agencies of the federal
 government.  For example: <org-name>.<city>.FED.US
 created directly under the top-level US.  This branch is to be used
 for distributed national institutes; organizations that span state,
 regional, and other organizational boundaries; that are national in
 scope, and have distributed facilities.  For example:
 Name Space Within States:
 "locality" - cities, counties, parishes, and townships.  Subdomains
 under the "locality" would be like CI.<city>.<state>.US,
 CO.<county>.<state>.US, or businesses. For example:
 "CI" - This branch is used for city government agencies and is a
 subdomain under the "locality" name (like Los Angeles). For example:
 "CO" - This branch is used for county government agencies and is a
 subdomain under the "locality" name (like Los Angeles).  For example:

Cooper & Postel [Page 5] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 "K12" - This branch may be used for public school districts.  A
 special name "PVT" can be used in the place of a school district name
 for private schools.  For example: <school-name>.K12.<state>.US and
 "CC" - COMMUNITY COLLEGES - This branch was established for all state
 wide community colleges.  For example: <school-name>.CC.<state>.US.
 established for technical and vocational schools and colleges. For
 example: <school-name>.TEC.<state>.US.
 be used for libraries only.  For example:  <lib-name>.LIB.<state>.US.
 "STATE" - This branch may be used for state government agencies.  For
 example:  <org-name>.STATE.<state>.US.
 "GEN" - GENERAL INDEPENDENT ENTITY - This branch is for the things
 that don't fit easily into any other structure listed -- things that
 might fit in to something like ORG at the top-level.  It is best not
 to use the same keywords (ORG, EDU, COM, etc.) that are used at the
 top-level to avoid confusion.  GEN would be used for such things as,
 state-wide organizations, clubs, or domain parks.  For example:
                          |  US   |
            |        |        |       |        |
         +-----+  +-----+  +-----+  +-----+  +-----+
         | FED |  | DNI |  | TX  |  | SD  |  | CA  |
         +-----+  +-----+  +-----+  +-----+  +-----+

Cooper & Postel [Page 6] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

                              |  CA |
        |            |        |            |             |
      +-----+     +-----+  +-----+  +-------------+   +-----+
      | K12 |     | CC  |  | TEC |  | LOS ANGELES |   | LIB |
      +-----+     +-----+  +-----+  +-------------+   +-----+
        /   \       /|\      /|\          /|\           /|\
 +--------+ +---+  +---+  +--------+  +----------+    +------+
 |sch dist| |PVT|  |SJC|  |WM TRADE|  |pvt school|    |MALIBU|
 +--------+ +---+  +---+  +--------+  +----------+    +------+
    /|\      /|\
 +--------+ +--------+
 |sch name| |sch name|
 +--------+ +--------+
                              |  CA |
                    |            |            |
                 +-------+   +--------+    +-----+
                 | STATE |   |DISTRICT|    | GEN |
                 +-------+   +--------+    +-----+
                   /|\          /|\          /|\
                 +--------+   +------+   +---------+
                 |CALTRANS|   |SCAQMD|   |domain pk|
                 ---------+   +------+   +---------+

Cooper & Postel [Page 7] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

                              |  CA |
                 |                                   |
       +-------------------------+           +----------------+
       |       LOS ANGELES       |           |  SANTA MONICA  |
       +-------------------------+           +----------------+
        /  |          |       /|\                |       /|\
       /   |          |        |                 |        |
   +---+ +--+        +--+  +-----------+       +--+     +---+
   |bus| |CI|        |CO|  | pvt school|       |CI|     |bus|
   +---+ +--+        +--+  +-----------+       +--+     +---+
          /\          |                          |
         /  \         |                  +------------+
        /    \        |                  |HARBOR GUARD|
       /      \       |                  +------------+
  +-----+ +-----+   +-----+ +----+
  +-----+ +-----+   +-----+ +----+
 2.1  State Codes
 The state codes are the two letter US Postal abbreviations. For
 example: "CA" California.
 2.2  Locality Names
 Within the state name space there are "locality" names, some may be
 cities, some may be counties, some may be local names, but not
 incorporated entities.
 Registered names under "locality" could be like:
   <hostname>.CI.<locality>.<state>.US   ==>  city gov't agency
   <hostname>.CO.<locality>.<state>.US,  ==>  county gov't agency
   <hostname>.<locality>.<state>.US      ==>  businesses
 In the cases where the locality name is a county, there is a branch
 under the locality name, called "county" or "CO", that is used by the
 county government.  Businesses are registered directly under the
 locality name.

Cooper & Postel [Page 8] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 Under the city locality name space there is a "city" or "CI" branch
 for city government agencies.  As usual, businesses and private
 schools may register directly under the city name.
 In the case where there is both a county and a city with the same
 locality name there is no problem, since the names will be unique
 with the "CO" or "CI" keyword.  In our area the county has a fire
 department and the city has its own fire department.  They could have
 names like:
 Cities may be named (designated) by their full name (spelled out with
 hyphens replacing spaces (e.g., Los-Angeles or Fort-Collins), or by a
 city code.  The first choice is the full city name.  In some cases it
 may be appropriate to use the well-known city abbreviation known
 throughout a locality.  However, it is very desirable that all users
 in the same city use the same designator for the city.  That is, any
 particular locality should have just one DNS name.
 Some users would like names associated with a greater metropolitan
 area or region like the "Bay Area" or "Tri-Cities".  One problem with
 this is that these names are not necessarily unique within a state.
 The best thing to do in this case is to use the larger metropolitan
 city in your hostname.  Cities and counties are used.
 Should all the names be obvious?  Trying to do this is desirable and
 also impossible.  There will come a point when the obviously right
 name for an organization is already taken.  As the system grows this
 will happen with increasing frequency.  While ease of use to the end
 user is desirable, a higher priority must be placed on having a
 system that operates.  This means that the manageability of the
 system must have high consideration.
 The reason the DNS was created was to subdivide the problem of
 maintaining a list of hosts in the Internet into manageable portions.
 The happy result is that this subdivision makes name uniqueness
 easier and promotes logical grouping.  What is a "logical grouping"
 though, always depends on the viewer.
 Many levels of delegation are needed to keep the zone files
 manageable.  Many sections of the name space are needed to allow
 unique names to be easily added.

Cooper & Postel [Page 9] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 Way back in the olden days, when the Internet was invented, some
 thought that an 8-bit network number would be more than enough to
 number all the networks that would ever exist.  Today, there are over
 10,000 networks operating in the Internet, and arguments are made
 about the doubling time being 2 years versus 4 years.
 One concern is that things will continue to grow dramatically, and
 this will require more subdivision of the domain name management.
 Maybe the plan for the US Domain is overkill on growth planning, but
 there has never been overplanning for growth yet.
 When things are bigger, names have to be longer.  There is an
 argument that with only 8-character names, and in each position allow
 a-z, 0-9, and -, you get 37**8 = 3,512,479,453,921 or 3.5 trillion
 possible names.  It is a great argument, but how many of us want
 names like "xs4gp-7q".  It is like license plate numbers, sure some
 people get the name they want on a vanity plate, but a lot more
 people who want something specific on a vanity plate can't get it
 because someone else got it first.  Structure and longer names also
 let more people get their "obviously right" name.
 2.3  Schools
 K12 schools are connecting to the Internet and registering in the
 Internet DNS.  A decision has been made by the IANA (after
 consultation with the new InterNIC Internet Registry and the Federal
 Networking Council (FNC)) to direct these school registrations to the
 US domain using the naming structure described here.
 There is a need for competent, experienced, volunteers to come
 forward to act as third and perhaps fourth level registries and to
 operate delegated portions of the DNS.
 There are two reasons for registering schools in the US Domain.  (1)
 uniqueness of names, and (2) management of the database.
   1. Name Uniqueness:
      There are many "Washington" high schools, only one can be
      "Washington.EDU" (actually none can be, since that name is used
      by a University.  There will be many name conflicts if all
      schools attempt to register directly under EDU.
      In addition, in some districts, the same school name is used at
      different levels, for example, Washington Elementary School and
      Washington High School.  We suggest that when necessary, the
      keywords "Elementary", "Middle", and "High" be used to
      distinguish these schools.  These keywords would only be used

Cooper & Postel [Page 10] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

      when they are needed, if the school's name is unique without
      such keywords, don't use them.
   2. Database Management:
      One goal of the DNS is to divide up the management of the name
      database in to small pieces.  Each piece (or "zone" in DNS
      terminology) could be managed by a distinct administrator.
      Adding all the high schools to the EDU domain will make the
      already large zone file for EDU even larger, possibly to the
      point of being unmanageable.
 For both these reasons it is necessary to introduce structure into
 names.  Structure provides a basis for making common names unique in
 context, and for dividing the management responsibility.
    The US Domain has a framework established and has registered many
    schools already in this structured scheme.  The general form is:
          For example: Hamilton.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US
 Public schools are usually organized by districts which can be larger
 or smaller than a city or county.  For example, the Portland school
 district in Oregon, is in three or four counties.  Each of those
 counties also has non-Portland districts.
 It makes sense to name schools within districts.  However districts
 often have the same name as a city or county so there has to be a way
 to distinguish a public school district name from some other type of
 locality name.  The keyword "K12" is used for this.
 For example, typical K12 school names currently used are:
 These names are generally longer than the old alternative of shorter
 names in the EDU domain, but that would not have lasted long without
 a significant number of schools finding that their "obviously
 correct" name has already been used by some other school.

Cooper & Postel [Page 11] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 When there are many things to name some of the names will be long.
 In some cases there may be appropriate abbreviations that can be
 used.  For example Hamilton High School in Los Angeles could be:
 If a school has a number of PCs, then each PC should have a name.
 Suppose they are named "alpha", "beta", ... then if they belong to a
 school named "Lincoln.High.Lakewood.K12.CA.US" their names would be:
 The K12 subdomain provides two points at which to delegate a branch
 of the database to distinct administrators -- the K12 Administrator
 for each state, and the district administrator for each district
 within a state.
 The US Domain Administrator will delegate a branch of the US domain
 to an appropriate party.  In some cases, this may be a particular
 school, a school district, or ever all of K12 for a state.
 The responsibility for managing a K12 branch or sub-branch may be
 delegated to an appropriate volunteer.  We envision that such
 delegations of the schools' DNS service may eventually migrate to
 someone else "more appropriate" from an administrative organizational
 point of view.  The "obvious" state agency to manage the schools' DNS
 branch may take some time to get up to speed on Internetting.  In the
 meantime, we can have the more advanced schools up and running.
 Special Schools and Service Units
 In many states, there are special schools that are not in districts
 that are run directly by the state or by consortiums.  There are also
 service units that provide "educational services" ranging from books
 and computers to janitorial supplies and building maintenance.  Often
 these service units do not have a one-to-one relationship with
 There is some concern about naming these schools and service units
 within the naming structure for schools established in this memo.
 There are several possibilities.  For a state with many service units
 creating a "pseudo district" ESU (or whatever, the common terminology
 is in that state) is a possibility.  For example, the Johnson service
 unit could be JOHNSON.ESU.K12.CA.US.  For a state with a few such
 service units (and avoiding conflicts with district names) the
 service units could be directly under K12.  For example,

Cooper & Postel [Page 12] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 The special public funded schools can be handled in a similar
 fashion.  If there are many special schools in a state, a "pseudo
 district" should be established and all the special schools listed
 under it.  For example, suppose there is a "pseudo district" in
 Massachusetts called SPCL, and there is a special school called the
 Progressive Computer Institute, then that school could have the name
 PCI.SPCL.K12.MA.US.  If there are only a few special schools, they
 can be listed directly under K12 (avoiding name conflicts with
 district names).  For example, the California Academy of Math and
 Science is CAMS.K12.CA.US.  CAMS is sponsored by seven schools, the
 California Department of Education, and a University.
 "PVT" Private Schools
 Private schools may be thought of as businesses.  Public schools are
 in districts, and districts provide a natural organizational
 structure for naming and delegation.  For private schools there are
 no districts and they really do operate like businesses.  But, many
 people are upset to think about their children in a private school
 being in a business category and not in K12 with the rest of the
 children.  To accommodate both public and private schools, in each
 state's K12 branch, we've added an artificial district called private
 or "PVT".  This gives a private school the option of registering like
 a business under "locality" or in the PVT.K12.<state-code>.US branch.
 For example:
 A public school "Oak High" in the "Woodward" school district in
 California would have a name like "Oak-High.Woodward.K12.CA.US".
 A private school "Old Trail" in Pasadena, California could have the
 <locality> based name "Old-Trail.Pasadena.CA.US" or the private
 school base name "Old-Trail.PVT.K12.CA.US".
 Some suggest that for private schools instead of a special pseudo
 district PVT to use a locality name.  One reason to use district
 names is that, in time, it seems likely that school district
 administrators will take over the operation of the DNS for their
 district.  One needs to be able to delegate at that branch point.
 One implication of delegation is that the delegatee is now in charge
 of a chunk of the name space and will be registering new names. To
 keep names unique one can't have two different people registering new
 things below identically named branches.

Cooper & Postel [Page 13] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 For example, if there is a school district named Pasadena and a city
 named Pasadena, the branch of the name space PASADENA.K12.CA.US might
 be delegated to the administrator of that public school district.  If
 a private school in Pasadena wanted to be registered in the DNS, it
 would have to get the public school district administrator to do it
 (perhaps unlikely) or not be in the K12 branch at all (unless there
 is the PVT pseudo district).
 So, if private schools are registered by
 <school>.<locality>.K12.<state-code>.US and public schools are
 registered by <school>.<district>.K12.<state-code>.US, there can't be
 any locality names that are the same as district names or the
 delegation of these will get very tricky later.
 If it is all done by locality names rather than district names, and
 public and private schools are mixed together, then finding an
 appropriate party to delegate the locality to may be difficult.
 Another suggestion was that private schools be registered directly
 under K12, while public schools must be under a district under K12.
 This would require the operator of the K12 branch to register all
 districts and private schools himself (checking for name uniqueness),
 he couldn't easily delegate the registration of the private schools
 to anyone else.
 Community Colleges and Technical Schools
 To distinguish Community Colleges and Technical/Vocational schools,
 the keywords "CC" and "TEC" have been created.
 Some School Examples
 Hamilton.High.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US        <== a public school
 Sherman-Oaks.Elem.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US    <== a public school
 John-Muir.Middle.Santa-Monica.K12.CA.US   <== a public school
 Crossroads-School.Santa-Monica.CA.US      <== a private school
 SMCC.CC.CA.US                             <== a community college
 TECMCC.CC.CA.US                           <== a community college
 Brick-and-Basket-Institute.TEC.CA.US      <== a technical college
 Northridge.CSU.STATE.CA.US                <== a state university

Cooper & Postel [Page 14] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 2.4  State Agencies
 Several states are setting up networks to interconnect the offices of
 state government agencies.  The hosts in such networks should be
 registered under the STATE.<state-code>.US branch.
 A US Domain name space has been established for the state government
 agencies.  For example, in the State of Minnesota, the subdomain is
    State Agencies:
    Senate.STATE.MN.US      <== State Senate
    MDH.STATE.MN.US         <== Dept. of Health
    CALTRANS.STATE.CA.US    <== Dept. of Transportation
    DMV.STATE.CA.US         <== Dept. of Motor Vehicles
 2.5  Federal Agencies
 A federal name space has been established for the federal government
 agencies.  For example, the subdomain for the Federal Reserve Bank of
 Minneapolis is MNPL.FRB.FED.US. Other examples are listed below.
    Federal Government Agencies:
    Senate.FED.US   <====  US Senate
    DOD.FED.US      <====  US Defense Dept.
    USPS.FED.US     <====  US Postal Service
    VA.FED.US       <====  US Veterans Administration
    IRS.FED.US      <====  US Internal Revenue Service
    Yosemite.NPS.Interior.FED.US    <====  A Federal agency
 2.6  Distributed National Institutes
 The "DNI" branch was created directly under the top-level US.  This
 is to be used for organizations that span state, regional, and other
 organizational boundaries; are national in scope, and have
 distributed facilities.  An example would be:
    Distributed National Institutes:
    MetaCenter.DNI.US   <====  The MetaCenter Supercomputer Centers

Cooper & Postel [Page 15] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 The MetaCenter domain encompasses the four NSF sponsored
 supercomputer centers. These are:
     San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)
     National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
     Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC)
     Cornell Theory Center (CTC)
 The MetaCenter Network will enable applications and services like
 file systems and archival storage to be operated in a distributed
 fashion; thus, allowing the resources at the four centers to appear
 integrated and "seamless" to users of the centers.
 2.7  General Independent Entities
 This name space was created for organizations that don't really fit
 anywhere else, such as state-wide associations, clubs, and "domain
 parks".  Think of this as the miscellaneous category.
 The examples are state-wide clubs.  For example, the Garden Club of
 Arizona, might want to be "GARDEN.GEN.AZ.US".  Such a club has
 membership from all over the state and is not associated with any one
 city (or locality).  Another example is "domain parks" that have been
 established up-to-now as entities in ORG.  For example, there is
 "LONESTAR.ORG", which is a kind of computer club in Texas that has
 lots of dial-in computers registered.  In the US Domain such an
 entity might have a name like "LONESTAR.GEN.TX.US".
 The organizations registered in GEN may typically be non-profit
 entities.  These organizations don't fit in a <locality> and are not
 a school, library, or state agency.  Ordinary businesses are not
 registered in GEN.
 Some suggest that these kinds of organizations are just like all the
 other things and ought to be registered under some <locality>.  This
 may be true, but sometimes one just can't find any way to convince
 the applicant that it is the right thing to do.  One can argue that
 any organization has to have a headquarters, or an office, or
 something about it that is in a fixed place, and thus the
 organization could be registered in that place.
 Some suggest that no token is needed, these entities could be
 directly under the <state-code>.  The problem with not having a
 token, is that you can't delegate the responsibility for registering
 these entities to someone separate from whoever is responsible for
 the <state-code>.  You want to be able to delegate for both name-
 uniqueness reasons, and operational management reasons.  Having a
 token there makes both easy.

Cooper & Postel [Page 16] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

    General Independent Entities:
    CAL-Comp-Club.GEN.CA.US   <====  The Computer Club of California
    2.8  Examples of Names
    For small entities like individuals or small businesses, there is
    usually no problem with selecting locality based names.
          For example:  Zuckys.Santa-Monica.CA.US
    For large entities like large corporations with multiple
    facilities in several cities or states this often seems like an
    unreasonable constraint (especially when compared with the
    alternative of registering directly in the COM domain).  However,
    a company does have a headquarters office in a particular locality
    and so could register with that name. Example: IBM.Armonk.NY.US
    PRIVATE (business or individual)
    Camp-Curry.Yosemite.CA.US       <====  a business
    IBM.Armonk.NY.US                <====  a business
    Dogwood.atl.GA.US               <====  a business
    Geo-Petrellis.Culver-City.CA.US <====  a restaurant
    Zuckys.Santa-Monica.CA.US       <====  a restaurant
    Joe-Josts.Long-Beach.CA.US      <====  a bar
    Holodek.Santa-Cruz.CA.US        <====  a personal computer
    Senate.FED.US           <====  US Senate
    DOD.FED.US              <====  US Defense Dept.
    DOT.FED.US              <====  US Transportation Dept.
    USPS.FED.US             <====  US Postal Service
    VA.FED.US               <====  US Veterans Administration
    IRS.FED.US              <====  US Internal Revenue Service
    Yosemite.NPS.Interior.FED.US    <====  a federal agency
    MNPL.FRB.FED.US.     <====  US Fed. Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Cooper & Postel [Page 17] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

    Senate.STATE.MN.US      <====  state Senate
    House.STATE.MN.US       <====  state House of Reps
    MDH.STATE.MN.US         <====  state Health Dept.
    HUD.STATE.CA.US         <====  state House and Urban Dev. Dept.
    DOT.STATE.MN.US         <====  state Transportation Dept.
    CALTRANS.STATE.CA.US    <====  state Transportation Dept.
    DMV.STATE.CA.US         <====  state Motor Vehicles Dept.
    Culver-City.DMV.STATE.CA.US  <====  a local office of DMV
    DNI  (distributed national Institutes)
    METACENTER.DNI.US       <==== a distributed nat'l Inst.
    GEN (General Independent Entities)
    GARDEN.GEN.AZ.US        <==== a garden club of Arizona
    CITY | CI | COUNTY | CO (locality)
    Parks.CI.Culver-City.CA.US          <====  a city department
    Fire-Dept.CI.Los-Angeles.CA.US      <====  a city department
    Fire-Dept.CO.Los-Angeles.CA.US      <====  a county department
    Planning.CO.Fulton.GA.US.           <====  a county department
    Main.Library.CI.Los-Angeles.CA.US   <====  a city department
    MDR.Library.CO.Los-Angeles.CA.US    <====  a county department
    TOWNSHIP | PARISH (locality)
    Police.TOWNSHIP.Green.OH.US           <====  a township department
    Administration.PARISH.Lafayette.LA.US <====  a parish department

Cooper & Postel [Page 18] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

    DISTRICT | LIBRARY  (agency)
    SCAQMD.DISTRICT.CA.US                 <====  a regional district
    Bunker-Hill-Improvement.DISTRICT.LA.CA.US <====  a local district
    Huntington.LIB.CA.US                  <====  a private library
    Venice.LA-City.LIB.CA.US              <====  a city library
    MDR.LA-County.LIB.CA.US               <====  a county library
    Hamilton.High.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US      <====  a public school
    Sherman-Oaks.Elem.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US  <====  a public K12 school
    John-Muir.Middle.Santa-Monica.K12.CA.US <====  a public K12 school
    Culver-High.CCSD.K12.CA.US              <====  a public K12 school
    St-Monica.High.Santa-Monica.CA.US       <====  a private school
    Crossroads-School.Santa-Monica.CA.US    <====  a private school
    Mary-Ellens.Montessori-School.LA.CA.US  <====  a private school
    Progress-Learning-Center.PVT.K12.CA.US  <====  a private school
    SMCC.Santa-Monica.CC.CA.US      <====  a public community college
    Trade-Tech.Los-Angeles.CC.CA.US <====  a public community college
    Valley.Los-Angeles.CC.CA.US     <====  a public community college
    Brick-and-Basket-Institute.TEC.CA.US    <== a technical college
    When appropriate, subdomains are delegated and partioned in
    various categories, such as:
     <locality>.<state>.US   =   city/locality based names
            K12.<state>.US   =   kindergarten thru 12th grade
         PVT.K12.<state.US   =   private kindergarten thru 12th grade
             CC.<state>.US   =   community colleges
            TEC.<state>.US   =   technical or vocational schools
            LIB.<state>.US   =   libraries
          STATE.<state>.US   =   state government agencies
         <org-name>.FED.US   =   federal government agencies
         <org-name>.DNI.US   =   distributed national institutes
    <org-name>.GEN.<state>.US. = statewide assoc,clubs,domain parks
    The Appendix-I contains the current US Domain Names BNF.

Cooper & Postel [Page 19] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993


 There are two types of registrations (1) Delegation, where a branch
 of the US Domain is delegated to an organization running name servers
 to support that branch; or (2) Direct Registration, in which the
 information is put directly into the main database.
 In Direct Registration there are two cases: (a) an IP-host (with an
 IP address), and (b) non-IP host (for example, a UUCP host).  Any
 particular registration will involve any one of these three
 3.1  Requirements
 Anyone requesting to register a host in the US Domain is sent a copy
 of the "Instructions for the US Domain Template", and must fill out a
 US Domain template.
 The US Domain template, is similar to the InterNIC Domain template,
 but it is not the same.  To request a copy of the US Domain template,
 send a message to the US Domain registrar (
 If you are registering a name in a delegated zone, please register
 with the contact for that zone.  You can FTP the file "in-notes/us-
 domain-delegated.txt" from, via anonymous FTP.  This
 information is also available via email from RFC-INFO@ISI.EDU
 (include as the only text in the message
 "Help: us_domain_delegated_domains").
 The key people must have electronic mailboxes (that work).  Please
 provide all the information indicated in the "Administrator" and
 "Technical Contact" slots.
 The administrator will be the point of contact for any administrative
 and policy questions about the domain. The administrator is usually
 the person who manages the organization being registered.
 The technical contact can also be administrator, or the systems
 person, or someone who is familiar with the technical details of the
 Internet.  The technical contact should have a valid working email
 address.  This is necessary in case something goes wrong.
 It is important that your "Return-Path" and "From" field indicate an
 Internet-style address.  UUCP-style addresses such as "host1!user"
 will not work.  This is fine within the UUCP world, but not the
 Internet.  If you want people on the Internet to be able to send mail
 to you, your return path needs to be an Internet-style address such
 as: host1! or

Cooper & Postel [Page 20] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 It is also possible to register through one of the Internet service
 providers that have established working relationships with the US
 Domain Administrator.
 If everything checks out, the turn around time for registering a host
 is usually a few days.  The name servers are updated anywhere from 12
 to 24 hours later.
 There are two ways to be registered in the US Domain, directly, or by
 3.2  Direct Entries
 Direct entry in the database of the US Domain appeals most to
 individuals and small companies.  You may fill out the application
 and send it directly to the US Domain Administrator.  If you are in
 an area where the zone is delegated to someone else your request will
 be forwarded to the zone administrator for your registration.  Or,
 you may send the form directly to the manager of a delegated zone
 (see Section 3.1).
 3.2.1 IP-Hosts
 These are hosts with IP addresses which correspond to "A" records in
 the DNS database.
 3.2.2 Non-IP Hosts
 Many applicants have hosts in the UUCP world.  Some are one hop away,
 some two and three hops away from their "Internet Forwarder", this is
 acceptable.  What is important is getting an Internet host to be your
 forwarder.  If you do not already have an Internet forwarder, there
 are several businesses that provide this service for a fee, such as
 UUNET.UU.NET (, PSI (postmaster@UU2.PSI.COM)
 and CERFNET (  Sometimes local colleges in your area
 are already on the Internet and may be willing to act as an Internet
 Forwarder.  You would need to work this out with the systems
 administrator as we cannot make these arrangements for you.
 Although we work with UUCP service providers, the Internet US Domain
 registration is not affiliated with the registration of UUCP Map
 entries.  The UUCP map entry does not provide us with sufficient
 information.  If you do not have a copy of the US Domain
 questionnaire template, please send a message to:
 and request one.  See Appendix-II.

Cooper & Postel [Page 21] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 The example below is not an appropriate registration for the US Domain.
   #N starl
   #S Amiga 2500; AmigaDOS 2.04; Dillon's AmigaUUCP 1.15D
   #O Starlight BBS
   #C Stephen Baker
   #E starl!sbaker
   #T +1 305 378 1161
   #P 1107 SW 200th St #303B Miami, Fl. 33157
   #L 25 47 N / 88 10 W [city]
   #U mthvax
   #W starl!sbaker (Stephen Baker); Mon Feb 24 19:58:24 EST 1992
    starl        mthvax(DAILY)
 If you are registering your host as a central site for a USENET group
 where other UUCP sites will feed from you, that's fine.  These UUCP
 sites do not need to register.  If however, the other sites become a
 subdomain of your hostname, then we will need to register them
 individually or add a wildcard record. (See Section 4.4. Wildcards).
         For example:
 To use US Domain names for non-IP hosts, there must be a forwarder
 host that is an IP host.  There must be an administrative agreement
 and a technical procedure for relaying mail between the non-IP host
 and the forwarder host.
 Case 1:
 Your host is not an IP host but does talk directly with a host that
 is an IP host.
 +----------+            +---------+            |                 |
 |your-host |---UUCP-----|forwarder|----IP/TCP--|    INTERNET     |
 +----------+            +---------+            |                 |
 "Forwarder" must be an IP host on the Internet.
 You must ask "forwarder" if they are willing to be the Internet
 forwarder for "your-host".
 In the US Domain of the DNS data base there must be an entry like
        "your-host"  MX  10  "forwarder"

Cooper & Postel [Page 22] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 This must be entered by the US Domain Administrator.
 In the "forwarder" routing tables there must be information about
 "your-host" with a rule like: If I see mail for "your-host" I will
 send it via uucp by calling phone number "123-4567".
 Case 2:
 In this case your hosts talks to another host that ... that talks to
 an IP host.  In other words, there are multiple hops between your host
 and the Internet.
 +----------+            +---------+            |                 |
 |path-host |---UUCP-----|forwarder|----IP/TCP--|    INTERNET     |
 +----------+            +---------+            |                 |
     |                                          +-----------------+
 |your-host |
 "Forwarder" must be an IP host on the Internet.
 You must ask "forwarder" if they are willing to be the Internet
 Forwarder for "Your-Host".  You must ask "path-host" to relay your
 In the US Domain of the DNS Database there must be an entry like this:
        "your-host"  MX  10  "forwarder"
 This must be entered by the US Domain Administrator.
 In the "forwarder" routing tables there must be information about
 "your-host" with a rule like: If I see mail for "your-host" I will
 send it via UUCP to "path-host" by calling phone number "123-4567".
 and "path-host" must also know how to relay the mail to "your-host".
 Note: It is assumed that "path-host" is already MXed to "forwarder".
 It is not appropriate to ask to MX "your-host" to "path-host" (this
 is sometimes called double MXing).  The host on the right hand side
 of an MX entry must be a host on the Internet with an IP address

Cooper & Postel [Page 23] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 3.3  Delegated Subdomains
 Many branches of the US Domain are delegated. There must be a
 knowledgeable and competent technical contact, familiar with the
 Internet DNS.  This requirement is easily satisified if the technical
 contact already runs some other name servers.
 Examples of delegations are K12.TX.US for the Kindergarten through
 12th Grade public schools in Texas, the locality "", or
 the LIB.MN.US branch for the libraries in Minnesota.
 The administrator of the US Domain is responsible for the assignment
 of all the DNS names that end with ".US".  Of course, one person or
 even one group can't handle all this in the long run so portions of
 the name space are delegated to others.
 The major concern in selecting a designated manager for a domain is
 that it be able to carry out the necessary responsibilities, and have
 the ability to do an equitable, just, honest, and competent job.
 The key requirement is that for each domain there be a designated
 manager for supervising that domain's name space.
 These designated authorities are trustees for the delegated domain,
 and have a duty to serve the community.
 The designated manager is the trustee of the domain for the domain
 itself and the global Internet community.
 Concerns about "rights" and "ownership" of domains are inappropriate.
 It is appropriate to be concerned about "responsibilities" and
 "service" to the community.
 The designated manager must be equitable to all groups in the domain
 that request domain names.
 This means that the same rules are applied to all requests.  All
 requests must be processed in a nondiscriminatory fashion, and
 academic and commercial (and other) users are treated on an equal
 basis.  No bias shall be shown regarding requests that may come from
 customers of some other business related to the manager -- e.g., no
 preferential service for customers of a particular data network
 provider.  There can be no requirement that a particular mail system
 (or other application), protocol, or product be used.
 There are no requirements on subdomains beyond the requirements on
 higher-level domains themselves.  That is, the requirements are
 applied recursively.  In particular, all subdomains shall be allowed

Cooper & Postel [Page 24] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 to operate their own domain name servers, providing in them whatever
 information the subdomain manager sees fit (as long as it is true and
 Significantly interested parties in the domain should agree that the
 designated manager is the appropriate party.
 The US Domain Administrator tries to have any contending parties
 reach agreement among themselves, and generally takes no action to
 change things unless all the contending parties agree; only in cases
 where the designated manager has substantially neglected their
 responsibilities would the US Domain Administrator step in.
 The designated manager must do a satisfactory job of operating the
 DNS service for the domain.
 That is, the actual management of the assigning of domain names,
 delegating subdomains and operating name servers must be done with
 technical competence.  This includes keeping the US Domain
 Administrator or other higher-level domain managers advised of the
 status of the domain, responding to requests in a timely manner, and
 operating the database with accuracy, robustness, and resilience.
 There must be a primary and a secondary name server that have IP
 connectivity to the Internet and can be easily checked for
 operational status and database accuracy by the US Domain
 One of the aspects of having two name servers for each domain (or
 zone), is for robustness.  One concern under this heading is that the
 name service not go out entirely if there is a local power failure
 (earthquake, tornado, or other disaster).
 Name Servers should be in distinctly separate physical locations.  It
 is appropriate to have more than two name servers, but there must be
 at least two.
 For any transfer of the designated manager trusteeship from one
 organization to another, the higher-level domain manager must receive
 communications from both the old organization and the new
 organization that assures the US Domain Administrator that the
 transfer in mutually agreed, and that the new organization
 understands its responsibilities.
 It is also very helpful for the US Domain Administrator to receive
 communications from other parties that may be concerned or affected
 by the transfer.

Cooper & Postel [Page 25] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 Delegation of cities, companies within cities, schools (K12),
 community colleges (CC), libraries (LIB), state government (STATE),
 and federal government agencies (FED), etc., is acceptable and
 For a delegated portion of the name space, for example a city, no
 alterations can be made to that name, no abbreviations added, etc.
 unless applied for.
 Sometimes there may be two people running name servers in the same
 city because different portions of the name space has been delegated
 to them.  For example, someone may be delegated the <city>.<state>.US
 name space, and someone else from a state government agency may have
 the .STATE.<state>.US, portion.  For example, Fred may run the name
 servers for Sacramento.CA.US and Joe may run the name servers for
 STATE.CA.US in Sacramento.
 If a company would like to have wildcard records added, or run their
 own name servers in a city that we have delegated name space to, this
 is acceptable.
 Delegation of the whole State name space is not yet implemented.  The
 delegated part of the name space is in the form of:
 3.3.1.  Delegation Requirements
 When a subdomain is delegated, the following requirements must be
    1)  There must be a knowledgeable and competent technical contact,
        familiar with the Internet DNS.  This requirement is easily
        satisified if the technical contact already runs some other
        name servers.

Cooper & Postel [Page 26] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

    2)  Organizations requesting delegations must provide at least two
        independent (robust and reliable) DNS name servers in
        physically separate locations on the Internet.
    3)  The subdomain must accept all applicants on an equal basis.
    4)  The subdomain must provide timely processing of requests.  To
        do this, it is helpful to have several individuals
        knowledgeable about the procedures so that the operations are
        not delayed due to one persons unavailability (for example, by
        being on vacation).
    5)  The subdomain manager must tell the US Domain Administrator
        when there are changes in the name servers that should be
        reflected in the US Domain zone files, or changes in the
        contact information.
 K12 Administrators
    In the long term, registering schools will be a big job.  So you
    need to have in mind delegating parts of the work to various
    school districts.  If you can delegate every school district in
    the state then you are finished, except for checking that they are
    all operating correctly.  However, initially you will have quite a
    bit to do with educating people, helping them choose names and
    getting name servers arranged.  You are responsible for seeing
    that the naming of schools follow the guidelines suggested in this
    All K12 Administrators will initially be responsible for managing
    the "pseudo district" PVT for private schools.  Private schools
    have the option of registering as <school-name>.PVT.K12.<state>.US
    or as a business under the city based names.
 Locality Administrators
    If you have been delegated a locality subdomain, you will be
    responsible for registering not only businesses directly under the
    locality, but city and county agencies under the "CI" and "CO"
    branches.  When appropriate these branches should be delegated.
    If you want, you may spell out "CITY" instead of "CI" or "COUNTY"
    instead of "CO", but you must be consistent and use only one or
    the other in a given locality.  The whole city government should
    be under one branch.

Cooper & Postel [Page 27] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 WHOIS Database
    Only the second and third level delegated name spaces will be
    entered in the WHOIS database.  For example, K12.CA.US would have
    an entry in WHOIS.  Anything under K12.CA.US will not be listed.
    The US Domain Administrator will send the information that you
    supplied on your US Domain template to the InterNIC.  It is the
    hope that in the future, each delegated subdomain will provide
    their own WHOIS directory database for their branch.
 3.3.2  Delegation Procedures
 The procedure that is followed when a subdomain is delegated includes
 the following steps:
    1)  Evaluate the technical contact's experience with DNS.  Make
        sure there is a need for the proposed delegation.  Make sure
        the technical contact has the information about the US Domain
        and the suggested naming structure.  Two contacts with email
        addresses are necessary in case something goes wrong.
    2)  Add the new technical contact to the "us-dom-adm" mailing list
        for distributing updates concerning the US Domain policies and
    3)  Delete any hosts from our zone file that belongs in the newly
        delegated subdomain and make sure they now have the hosts in
        their zone file.
    4)  Send them a copy of the zone file so their initial zone file
        is identical to ours. For example:      69582   SOA
                                930119  ;serial
                                28800   ;refresh
                                14400   ;retry
                                3600000 ;expire
                                86400 ) ;minim      69582   NS   85483   A      69582   NS     85483   A      69582   HINFO   Sun 3/60 SunOs      69582   MX      10      69582   HINFO   386 Clone DOS      69582   MX      10

Cooper & Postel [Page 28] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993        69582   HINFO   UNIX PC UNIX        69582   MX      10      69582   MX      10      69582   HINFO   MacIntosh System 7      69582   MX      10       69582   HINFO   386 Clone DOS       69582   MX      10
    5)  The US Domain zone file must have the following records,
        showing the name, address, email, and phone number of the
        technical contact for the delegated subdomain and the name of
        the delegated name space and the names of the name servers.
          ;Contact:  Joseph Klein (
          ;          Marquette University
          ;          (414) 288-6734
          ;Delegate zone
      604800  NS      SPOOL.MU.EDU.
                          604800  NS      SOPHIE.MSCS.MU.EDU.
          ; A glue record is not needed this time. Glue records are
          ; needed when the name of the server is a subdomain of the
          ; delegated domain.
    6)  Check to see that delegated subdomain name servers are up and
        running, and make sure the delegated hosts are installed in
        their zone file.  Now delete any hosts from the US Domain zone
        file that belongs in the newly delegated subdomain.
    7)  Inform the technical contact of the newly delegated subdomain
        that wildcard records are allowed in the zone file under the
        organizational subdomain but no wildcard records are allowed
        under the "city" or "state" domain.
    8)  Make sure each administrator has a copy of this RFC and
        follows the guidelines set forth.
 3.3.3   Subdomain Contacts
 The number of hosts registered under each subdomain is unknown. See
 Section 3.1 for information on the delegated domains and the

Cooper & Postel [Page 29] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993


 4.1. Name Servers
 Name servers are the repositories of information that make up the
 domain database.  The database is divided up into sections called
 zones, which are distributed among the name servers.  While name
 servers can have several optional functions and sources of data, the
 essential task of a name server is to answer queries using data in
 its zones.  The response to a query can always be generated using
 only local data, and either contains the answer to the question or a
 referral to other name servers "closer" to the desired information.
 A given zone will be available from several name servers to insure
 its availability in spite of host or communication link failure.
 Every zone is required to be available on at least two servers, and
 many zones have more redundancy than that.
 The US Domain is currently supported by seven name servers:
 4.2 Zone Files
 A "zone" is a registry of domains kept by a particular organization.
 A zone registry is "authoritative", that is, the master copy of the
 registry is kept by the zone organization, and this copy is, by
 definition, always up-to-date.  Copies of this registry may be
 distributed to other places and kept in caches, but these caches are
 not authoritative, and may be out-of-date.
 Every zone has at least one node, and hence domain name, for which it
 is authoritative, and all of the nodes in a particular zone are
 connected.  Given the tree structure, every zone has a highest node
 which is closer to the root than any other node in the zone.  The
 name of this node is often used to identify the zone.  The data that
 describes a zone has four major parts:
      1) Authoritative data for all nodes within the zone.
      2) Data that defines the top node of the zone
         (can be thought of as part of the authoritative data).

Cooper & Postel [Page 30] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

      3) Data that describes delegated subzones, i.e., cuts
         around the bottom of the zone,
      4) Data that allows access to name servers for subzones
         (sometimes called "glue" data).
 The zone administrator has to maintain the zones at all the name
 servers which are authoritative for the zone.  When the changes are
 made, they must be distributed to all of the name servers.
 Copies of the zone files are not available unless you are on the
 Internet.  To look at the zone files use the "dig" program of the DNS
 domain name system.
      dig   @nshost  host-your-checking  axfr
 4.3 Resource Records
 Records in the zone data files are called resource records (RRs).
 The standard Resource records (RR) are specified in STD 13, RFC 1034
 and STD 13, RFC 1035 (3,4).  An RR has a standard format as shown.
                <name> [<ttl>] [<class>] <type> <data>
 The first field is always the name of the domain record.  The second
 field is an optional time to live field.  This specifies how long
 this data will be stored in the data base.  The third field is the
 address class; the class field specifies the protocol group most
 often this is the Internet class "IN".  The fourth field states the
 type of the resource record.  The fields after that are dependent on
 the Type of RR.  The fifth field is the data field which is defined
 differently for each type and class of data.  Here is a list of the
 current commonly used types:
         SOA     Start of Authority
         NS      Name Server
         A       Internet Address
         CNAME   Canonical Name (nickname pointer)
         HINFO   Host Information
         WKS     Well Known Services
         MX      Mail Exchanger
         PTR     Pointer

Cooper & Postel [Page 31] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 What do the fields mean?
         foo.LA.CA.US.    604800    MX   10     Venera.ISI.EDU.
         (1)              (2)       (3)  (4)    (5)
         1)  domain name
         2)  time to live information
         3)  mail exchanger record
         4)  preference value to determine (if more than one
             forwarder) which mailer to use first, lower number
             higher preference
         5)  the Internet forwarding host.
 4.3.1  "A" Records
 Internet (IP) Address.  The data for an "A" record is an Internet
 address in a dotted decimal form.  A sample "A" record might look
 like:          A
            (name)               (A)     (address)
 The name field is the machine name, and the address is the network
 address.  There should be only one "A" record for each address of a
 4.3.2  CNAME Records
 Canonical Name resource record, CNAME, specifies an alias for a
 canonical name.  This is essentially a pointer to the official name
 for the requested name.  All other RRs appear under this official
 name.  A machine named FERNWOOD.MPK.CA.US may want to have the
 nickname ANTERIOR.MPK.CA.US.  In that case, the following RR would be
 used:     CNAME
          (alias nickname)                   (canonical name)
 Nicknames (the name associated with the RR is the nickname) may be
 added for awhile when a host changes its name, usually because it
 moves to another state.  It helps to have this CNAME pointer so if
 any mail comes to the old address it will get forwarded to the new
 one.  There cannot be any other RRs associated with a nickname of the
 same class.

Cooper & Postel [Page 32] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 4.3.3  MX Records
 Mail Exchanger records, MX, are used to specify a machine that knows
 how to deliver mail to a machine that is not directly connected to
 the Internet.  For example, is the mail gateway that
 knows how to deliver mail to, but other machines on the
 network cannot deliver mail directly to  These two
 machines may have a private connection or use a different transport
 medium (such as uucp).  The preference value (10) is the order that a
 mailer should follow when there is more than one way to deliver mail
 to a single machine.  The lower the number the higher the preference.
         foo.LA.CA.US.  604800  MX  10  Venera.ISI.EDU.
         foo.LA.CA.US.  604800  MX  20
 4.3.4   HINFO Records
 Host information resource records, HINFO is for host specific data.
 This lists the hardware and operating system that are running at the
 listed host.  It should be noted that a space separates the hardware
 information and the operating system information.  If you want to
 include a space in the machine name you must quote the name.  Host
 information is not specific to any class, so ANY may be used for the
 address class.  There should be one HINFO record for each host.       HINFO       VAX-11/780      UNIX
                                 (Hardware)      (Operating System)
 The official HINFO types can be found in the latest Assigned Numbers
 RFC, the most recent edition being STD 2, RFC 1340 [9].  The hardware
 type is called the Machine Name, and the software type is called the
 System Name.
 The information users supply about this is often inconsistent or
 incomplete.  Please follow the terms in the current "Assigned
 4.3.5  PTR Records
 A Domain Name Pointer record, PTR, allows special names to point to
 some other location in the domain data base.  These are typically
 used in setting up reverse pointers for the special IN-ADDR.ARPA
 domain.  PTR names should be unique to the zone.     PTR
           (special name)                  (real name)

Cooper & Postel [Page 33] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 A PTR record is to be added to the IN-ADDR.ARPA domain for every "A"
 record registered in the US Domain.  These PTR records need to be
 added by the administrator of the network where the host is
 connected.  The US Domain Administration does not administer the
 network and cannot make these entries in the DNS database.
 4.4  Wildcards
 The wildcard records are of the form "*.<anydomain>", where
 <anydomain> is any domain name.  The wildcards potentially apply to
 descendents of <anydomain>, but not to <anydomain> itself.
 For example, suppose a large company located in California with a
 large, non-IP/TCP, network wanted to create a mail gateway.  If the
 company was called DWP.LA.CA.US, and the IP/TCP capable gateway
 machine (Internet forwarder) was called ELROY.JPL.NASA.GOV, the
 following RRs might be entered into the .US zone.    MX      10       ELROY.JPL.NASA.GOV
       *    MX      10       ELROY.JPL.NASA.GOV
 The wildcard record *.DWP.LA.CA.US would cause an MX query for any
 domain name ending in DWP.LA.CA.US to return an MX RR pointing at
 ELROY.JPL.NASA.GOV. The entry without the "*" is needed so the host
 dwp can be found.
 In the US Domain, wildcard records are allowed in our zone files
 under the organizational subdomain (and where noted otherwise) but no
 wildcard records are allowed under the "City" or "State" domain.
     The authors strongly believe that it is in everyone's
     interest and good for the Internet to have each host
     explicitly registered (that is, we believe that wildcards
     should not be used), we also realize that not everyone
     agrees with this belief.  Thus, we will allow wildcard
     records in the US Domain under groups or organizations.
     For example, *.DWP.LA.CA.US.
     The reason we feel single entries are the best is by the mere
     fact that if anyone wanted to find one of the hosts in the
     domain name system it would be there, and problems can be
     detected more easily.  When using wildcards records all the
     hosts under a subdomain are hidden.

Cooper & Postel [Page 34] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993


 [1]  Stahl, M., "Domain Administrators Guide", RFC 1032, SRI
      International, November 1987.
 [2]  Lottor, M., "Domain Administrators Operations Guide" RFC 1033,
      SRI International, November 1987.
 [3]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain Names - Concepts and Facilities",
      STD 13, RFC 1034, ISI, November 1987.
 [4]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain Names - Implementation and
      Specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, ISI, November 1987.
 [5]  Dunlap, K., "Name Server Operations Guide for Bind,
      Release 4.3", UC Berkeley, SMM:11-3.
 [6]  Partridge, C., "Mail Routing and the Domain Name System",
      STD 14, RFC 974, BBN, January 1986.
 [7]  Albitz, P., C. Liu, "DNS and Bind" Help for UNIX System
      Administrators, O'Reilly and Associates, Inc., October 1992.
 [8]  ACM SIGUCCS Networking Taskforce, "Connecting to the Internet -
      What Connecting Institutions Should Anticipate", FYI 16,
      RFC 1359, August 1992.
 [9]  Reynolds, J., and J. Postel, "Assigned Numbers", STD 2,
      RFC 1340, ISI, July 1992.

6. Security Considerations

 Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Cooper & Postel [Page 35] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

7. Authors' Addresses

 Ann Cooper
 USC/Information Sciences Institute
 4676 Admiralty Way
 Marina del Rey, CA  90292
 Phone:  1-310-822-1511
 Jon Postel
 USC/Information Sciences Institute
 4676 Admiralty Way
 Marina del Rey, CA  90292
 Phone:  1-310-822-1511

Cooper & Postel [Page 36] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

                   APPENDIX-I:  US DOMAIN NAMES BNF
 <us-domain-name>    ::= <us-name><dot><us>
 <us-name>           ::= <state-name><dot><state-code> |
 <state-code>        ::= <the two-letter code of a state from the
                          zip code directory>
 <state-name>        ::= <local-name><dot><locality> |
                         <state-agency-name><dot><state> |
 <fed-name>          ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a US
                          federal government agency>
 <dni-name>          ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a
                          distributed national institution>
 <locality>          ::= <the full name of a city from the
                           zip code directory> |
                         <a short code name for a city> |
                         <the full name of a county, township,
                          or parish> |
                         <other well known and commonly used
                          locality name>
 <local-name>        ::= <entity-name> |
                         <city-name><dot><city> |
                         <county-name><dot><county> |
 <state-agency-name> ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a state
                          government agency>
 <regional-agency-name> ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a
                           special agency or district not an
                           element of the state government and
                           typically larger than a single city or
                           county, for example, the Southern
                           California Air Quality Management District>

Cooper & Postel [Page 37] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 <entity-name>       ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of an
                          entity within a city, for example: a
                          company, business, private school, club,
                          organization, or individual>
 <city-name>         ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a city
                          government agency>
 <county-name>       ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a county,
                           township, or parish government agency>
 <local-agency-name> ::= <the dotted hierarchical name of a special
                          agency or district not an element of a
                          city or county government and typically
                          equal or smaller than a single city or
                          county, for example, the Bunker Hill
                          Improvement District>
 <city> ::= "CI" | "CITY"
 <county> ::= "CO" | "COUNTY" | "TOWNSHIP" | "PARISH"
 <dot> ::= "."
 <fed> ::= "FED"
 <dni> ::= "DNI"
 <state> ::= "STATE" | "COMMONWEALTH"
 <agency> ::= "AGENCY" | "DISTRICT" | "K12" | "CC" | "LIB" |
              "GEN"    | "TEC"
 <local-agency> ::= "AGENCY" | "DISTRICT"
 <us> ::= "US"
 Within States:
 "K12" may be used for public school districts.  A special name
 "PVT" can be used in the place of a school district name for
 private schools.
 "CC" may be used only for public community colleges.

Cooper & Postel [Page 38] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 "LIB" may be only used by libraries.
 "TEC" is used only for technical and vocational schools and colleges.
 "GEN" is for general independent entities, that is, organizations
 that don't really fit anywhere else (such as statewide associations,
 clubs, and "domain parks").
 "STATE" may be used only for state government entities.
 Below US, parallel to States:
 "FED" is for agencies of the federal government.
 "DNI" is for distributed national institutes; organizations that
 span state, regional, and other organizational boundaries; that
 are national in scope, and have distributed facilities.
 Geo-Petrellis.Culver-City.CA.US         <== resturant
 Joe-Josts.Long-Beach.CA.US              <== bar
 IBM.Armonk.NY.US                        <== business
 Camp-Curry.Yosemite.CA.US               <== business
 Yosemite.NPS.Interior.FED.US            <== federal agency
 Senate.FED.US                           <== US Senate
 DOD.FED.US                              <== US Defense Dept.
 DOT.FED.US                              <== US Transportation Dept.
 MNPL.FRB.FED.US                         <== the Minneapolis branch of
                                             the Federal Reserve Bank
 MetaCenter.DNI.US                       <== distributed Nat'l Inst
 Senate.STATE.MN.US                      <== state Senate
 House.STATE.MN.US                       <== state House of Reps
 Assembly.STATE.CA.US                    <== state Assembly

Cooper & Postel [Page 39] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 MDH.STATE.MN.US                         <== state Health Dept.
 DOT.STATE.MN.US                         <== state Transportation Dept
 CALTRANS.STATE.CA.US                    <== state Transportation Dept
 DMV.STATE.CA.US                         <== state Motor Vehicles Dept
 Culver-City.DMV.STATE.CA.US             <== local office of DMV
 Police.CI.Culver-City.CA.US             <== city department
 Fire-Dept.CI.Los-Angeles.CA.US          <== city department
 Fire-Dept.CO.Los-Angeles.CA.US          <== county department
 Main.Library.CI.Los-Angeles.CA.US       <== city department
 MDR.Library.CO.Los-Angeles.CA.US        <== county department
 Huntington.LIB.CA.US                    <== private library
 SMCC.Santa-Monica.CC.CA.US              <== public community college
 Trade-Tech.Los-Angeles.CC.CA.US         <== public community college
 Valley.Los-Angeles.CC.CA.US             <== public community college
 Hamilton.High.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US      <== public school
 Sherman-Oaks.Elem.LA-Unified.K12.CA.US  <== public school
 John-Muir.Middle.Santa-Monica.K12.CA.US <== public school
 St-Monicas.High.Santa-Monica.CA.US      <== private school
 Crossroads-School.Santa-Monica.CA.US    <== private school
 Mary-Ellens-Montessori-School.LA.CA.US  <== private school
 Progress-Learning-Center.PVT.K12.CA.US  <== private school
 Brick-and-Basket-Institute.TEC.CA.US    <== technical college
 Bunker-Hill.DISTRICT.Los-Angeles.CA.US  <== local district
 SCAQMD.DISTRICT.CA.US                   <== regional district

Cooper & Postel [Page 40] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

 Berkeley.UC.STATE.CA.US                 <== "CAL"
 Los-Angeles.UC.STATE.CA.US              <== UCLA
 Irvine.UC.STATE.CA.US                   <== UC Irvine
 Northridge.CSU.STATE.CA.US              <== CSUN
 Los-Angeles.CSU.STATE.CA.US             <== Cal State LA
 Leland-Stanford-Jr-University.Stanford.CA.US    <== private school

Cooper & Postel [Page 41] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993


To register a host in the US domain, the US Domain Template must be sent to the US Domain Registrar (US-Domain@ISI.EDU). The first few pages explain each question on the attached template. FILL OUT THE TWO PAGE TEMPLATE AT THE END. Questions may be sent by electronic mail to the above address, or by phone to Ann Cooper, USC/Information Sciences Institute, (310) 822-1511.

(1) Please specify whether this is a new application, modification to

   an existing registration, or deletion.

(2) The name of the domain. This is the name that will be used in

   tables and lists associating the domain with the domain server
   addresses. See RFC 1480 - The US Domain for more details.

<host>.<city/locality>.<state>.US. = city/locality based names <school>.<district>.K12.<state>.US. = kindergarten thru 12th grade

     <school>.PVT.K12.<state>.US. =  private K thru 12th grade
  <school>.<locality>.<state>.US. =  PVT sch opt: locality names
          <school>.CC.<state>.US. =  community colleges
         <school>.TEC.<state>.US. =  technical or vocational schools
       <lib-name>.LIB.<state>.US. =  libraries
     <org-name>.STATE.<state>.US. =  state government agencies
               <org-name>.FED.US. =  federal government agencies
               <org-name>.DNI.US. =  distributed national institutes
          <org>.GEN.<state>.US. =  statewide assoc,clubs,domain parks
   For example:

(3) The name of the entity represented, that is, the organization

   being named.  For example: The Networthy Corporation. Not the
   name of the organization submitting the request.

(4) Please describe the domain briefly.

   For example: The Networthy Corporation is a consulting
   organization of people working with UNIX and the C language
   in an electronic networking environment.  It sponsors two
   technical conferences annually and distributes a bimonthly

(5) The date you expect the domain to be fully operational.

Cooper & Postel [Page 42] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

For every registration, we need both the Administrative and the Technical contacts of a domain (questions 6 & 7) and we MUST have a network mailbox for each. If you have a NIC handle (a unique NIC database identifier) please enter it. (If you don't know what a NIC handle is leave it blank). Also the title, mailing address, phone number, organization, and network mailbox.

(6) The name of the administrative head of the "organization". The

   administrator is the contact point for administrative and policy
   questions about the domain.  The Domain administrator should work
   closely with the personnel he has designated as the "technical
   contact" for his domain. In this example the Domain Administrator
   would be the Administrator of the Networthy Corporation, not the
   Administrator of the organization running the name server
   (unless it is the same person).

(7) The name of the technical and zone contact. The technical and

   zone contact handles the technical aspects of maintaining the
   domain's name server and resolver software, and database files.
   He keeps the name server running. More than likely, this person
   would be the technical contact running the primary name server.

* PLEASE READ: There are several types of registrations. (a) Delegation (i.e., a portion of the US Domain name space is given to an organization running name servers to support that branch; For example, K12.TX.US, for all K12 schools in Texas). For (a) answer questions 8 and 9. (b) Direct Registration of an IP Host. For (b) answer question 10. © Direct Registration of a non-IP Host. For © answer question 11 and 12. *


(8) PRIMARY SERVER Information. It is required to supply both the

   Contact information as well as hardware/software information of
   the primary name server.

(9)* SECONDARY SERVER Information. It is required to supply the

   hardware and software information of all secondary name servers.

Cooper & Postel [Page 43] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

Domains must provide at least two independent servers that provide the domain service for translating names to addresses for hosts in this domain. If you are applying for a domain and a network number assignment simultaneously and a host on your proposed network will be used as a server for the domain, you must wait until you receive your network number assignment and have given the server(s) a net- address before sending in the domain application. Establishing the servers in physically separate locations and on different PSNs and/or networks is strongly recommended.

NOTE: For those applicants not able to run name servers, or for non-IP hosts the Name Server information is not applicable. (See #10 and #11).

QUESTION FOR DIRECT IP HOSTS (If you answered 8 & 9 do not answer 10, 11, or 12).

(10) What Domain Name System (DNS) Resource Records (RR) and values are

   to be entered for your IP host (must have an "A" record).
   Example: RRs for an INTERNET hosts.
   (a)  DOMAIN NAME (required)...:  Networthy.Santa-Clara.CA.US.
   (b)  IP ADDRESS (required)....:  A  (required)
   (c)  HARDWARE (opt)...........:  SUN-3/11O
   (d)  OPERATING SYS (opt)......:  UNIX
   (e)  WKS (opt)........: UDP (echo tftp) TCP (ftp)
   (f)  MX (opt).................:  10  RELAY.ISI.EDU.

It is your responsibility to see that an IN-ADDR pointer record is entered in the DNS database. (For Internet hosts only). Contact the administrator of the IP network your host is on to have this done. The US Domain administration does not administer the network and cannot make these entries in the DNS database.


 Many applicants have hosts in the UUCP world.  Some are one hop away,
 some two and three hops away from their "Internet Forwarder", this is
 ok.  What is important is getting an Internet host to be your
 forwarder.  If you do not already have an Internet forwarder, there
 are several businesses that provide this service for a fee, (see
 RFC 1359 - Connecting to the Internet What Connecting Institutions
 Should Anticipate, ACM SIGUCCS, August 1992). Sometimes local colleges
 in your area are already on the Internet and may be willing to act
 as an Internet Forwarder.  You would need to work this out with the
 systems administrator.  We cannot make these arrangements for you.

Cooper & Postel [Page 44] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

(11) Internet Forwarding Host Information

   (11a) What is the name of your Internet forwarding host?
         For example: The host Yacht-Club.MDR.CA.US uses
         UUCP to connect to RELAY.ISI.EDU which is an Internet
         host. (i.e., RELAY.ISI.EDU is the forwarding host).
   (11b) What is the name of your contact person at forwarding host?
         The Administrator of RELAY.ISI.EDU must agree to be the
         forwarding host for Yacht-Club.MDR.CA.US, and the
         forwarding host must know a delivery method and route to
         Networthy.  No double MXing.
   (11c) What is the mailbox of your contact?
         What is the mailbox of the administrator of the forwarding
            Example:  Contact Name......:  John Smith
                      Contact Email.....:  js@RELAY.ISI.EDU

(12) What Domain Name System (DNS) Resource Records (RR) and values

   are to be entered for your NON-IP host.
   Example: RRs for a NON-IP host (uucp).
   (a)  DOMAIN NAME (required).....:   Yacht-Club.MDR.CA.US.
   (b)  HARDWARE (opt).............:   SUN-3/11O
   (c)  OPERATING SYS (opt)........:   UNIX
   (d)  MX (required)..............:   10  RELAY.ISI.EDU.


Cooper & Postel [Page 45] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

                        US DOMAIN TEMPLATE                    [6/93]

PLEASE SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING TWO PAGE TEMPLATE TO ( Sections or fields of this form marked with an asterisk (*) may be copied as many times as necessary. (For example: If you had two phone numbers for the Administrative Contact, you would use the same number "6h" twice. PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THIS APPLICATION IN ANY WAY.

         (N)ew (M)odify (D)elete..:
    3a.  Organization Name.....:
    3b.  Address Line 1........:
    3b.  Address Line 2........:
    3c.  City..................:
    3d.  State.................:
    3e.  Zip/Code..............:
    5.   Date Operational......:
    6a.  NIChandle (if known)..:
    6b.  Whole Name............:
    6c.  Organization Name.....:
    6d.  Address Line 1........:
    6d.  Address Line 2........:
    6e.  City..................:
    6f.  State.................:
    6g.  Zip/Code..............:
    6h.* Voice Phone...........:
    6i.* Electronic Mailbox....:
    7a.  NIChandle (if known)..:
    7b.  Whole Name............:
    7c.  Organization Name.....:
    7d.  Address Line 1........:
    7d.  Address Line 2........:
    7e.  City..................:
    7f.  State.................:
    7g.  Zip/Code..............:
    7h.* Voice Phone...........:
    7i.* Electronic Mailbox....:

Cooper & Postel [Page 46] RFC 1480 The US Domain June 1993

FILL OUT QUESTIONS 8 AND 9 FOR DELEGATIONS ONLY (i.e., those organizations running name servers for a branch of the US Domain name space, for example: k12.<state>.us).

    8a.  NIChandle (if known)..:
    8b.  Whole Name............:
    8c.  Organization Name.....:
    8d.  Address Line 1........:
    8d.  Address Line 2........:
    8e.  City..................:
    8f.  State.................:
    8g.  Zip/Code..............:
    8h.* Voice Phone...........:
    8i.* Electronic Mailbox....:
    8j.  Hostname..............:
    8k.* IP Address............:
    8l.* HARDWARE..............:
    8m.* OPERATING SYS.........:
    9a.* Hostname..............:
    9b.* IP Address............:
    9c.* HARDWARE..............:
    9d.* OPERATING SYS.........:


   10a.  DOMAIN NAME...........:
   10b.* IP ADDRESS (required).:
   10c.  HARDWARE..............:
   10d.  OPERATING SYS.........:
   10e.  WKS ..................:
   10f.* MX....................:


   11a.  Forwarding Host......:
   11b.  Contact Name.........:
   11c.  Contact Email........:
   12a.  DOMAIN NAME...........:
   12b.  HARDWARE..............:
   12c.  OPERATING SYS.........:
   12d.* MX (required).........:

Cooper & Postel [Page 47]

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