ENUM for UK Numbers
As a Nominet registrar, I called to enquire about the process of becoming an ENUM registrar on 14th May 2015.
The response I received was disappointing: due to a lack of uptake they have discontinued the ENUM project.
What this means is that UK ENUM (4.4.e164.arpa) has been delegated to Nominet but it is impossible for people and companies in the UK to register their phone numbers in DNS so callers can reach them over SIP.
The problem now is the delegation has been made to an organisation that refuses to operate the registry. In fact I expect that the high burden to entry and the huge number of obstacles to registrars, authenticators, and registrants is why uptake was so low—even those of us with an interest were put off.
So, 13 years after they started trialling UK ENUM it is as dead as the .gb ccTLD. There is no sign anyone else will actually acquire the delegation.
e164.org is one of the most known alternatives to e164.arpa, however there is the issue of whether allocating numbers themselves that have not been assigned by the ITU is questionable.
There is also the $5–$10 "donation" they request you make, which sounds more than what 4.4.e164.arpa registrars were charging.
If e164.arpa is what is supposed to be the authoritative domain for ENUM lookups, 4.4.e164.arpa probably should not have been awarded to Nominet. That or the UK Enum Consortium shouldn't have been the ones that got to choose.
If Nominet give up on the DNS of UK telephone numbers, how confident are you that if you have purchased a domain from a new gTLD Nominet won't do exactly the same thing if they take over the running of that gTLD?
They are "1 of 3 carefully selected, ICANN appointed, Emergency Back-End Registry Operators (EBERO) in the world." If a new gTLD registry fails, Nominet might take over the running of that gTLD and later down the line turn around and say "sorry, we're cancelling all .something domains because not enough people signed up."
There is also the question of what this will do if SLD domains in .UK (such as JohnCook.UK) doesn't have enough take-up will they turn off registrations and renewals?
Nominet are a non-profit organisation, or at least they can't just spend the profits. They are clearly rolling in money since they are running at a surplus large enough to create a charitable foundation to try and run down their "money mountain" (as Wikipedia calls it).
According to the 2014 accounts, Nominet's money mountain increased to £34,331,000, up from £31,663,000 in 2013.
It isn't like Nominet couldn't afford to open up UK ENUM, or continue operating the registry.
Why has UK ENUM been killed off? Considering the potential of huge benefit to consumers by reducing phone costs, whose best interests are served by shutting down 4.4.e164.arpa?