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September 4, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:59pm


By CBR Staff Writer

So far some 16 companies have stumped up the initial $10,000 to become a registrar of the seven new generic top-level domain names, or gTLDs as they have come to be known. Of those 16, half have been accepted by the body that proposed the plan, the interim Policy Oversight Committee, which comprises members from various internet standards bodies, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), among others. The news came out of a meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland at the start of this week under the auspices of WIPO. It was the latest in a series of meetings to try and determine the future of internet domain name registration. But the process for signing up new registrars appears to be taking a lot longer than originally proposed and the October 16 deadline for applications has been pushed back to January 15 next year. Many are cautious about stumping up the money (they get it back minus expenses if they do not meet the requirements). The identities of the eight companies is not yet known. On March 31 1998 Network Solutions Inc’s (NSI) exclusive contract to register the three existing gTLDs (.com, .net and .org) comes to an end. That company’s initial public offering is slated for the week beginning September 22, and it is expected to do pretty well out of it despite the fact that its core business will move from a monopoly position to competition come April 1. Many in the industry believe that NSI going to be ahead of the game for some time as it has been registering domain names for five years, covering the internet’s explosive growth period. NSI is aiming to raise around $35m with its IPO.

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