Commerce backs convergence

The Commerce Department has endorsed a protocol to merge telephone numbers and Internet addresses. The Telephone Number Mapping protocol, or Enum, specifies how telephone numbers can be used as identifiers for e-mail and instant messages.

In a letter to the State Department, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nancy Victory said the department would work with the Federal Communications Commission and the State Department. It also called on the State Department to assist the International Telecommunication Union in resolving the remaining issues surrounding Enum standards.

With Enum protocols in place, an individual can be contacted by e-mail or instant message via a telephone number. Telephone users can call individuals with Internet-based phones, or dial into Internet servers that offer other Internet services. And people using Internet-based phones can more easily place calls outside the Internet.

More information on Enum can be found at


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