View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
February 18, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:14pm


By CBR Staff Writer

There may still be more questions than answers right now, but the International Ad-Hoc Committee entrusted with the task of changing the way domain name registration is done on the Internet (CI No 3,070) has released the final version of its Recommendations for Administration and Management of Generic Top Level Domains. In it, the committee outlines how Network Solutions Inc – the company that currently oversees domain name registration on the Internet – will be stripped of its monopoly in the domain registration business. The proposal also gives the actual names of the seven new domains it proposes, and abolishes the controversial proposal that called for all domain registrants to wait for 60 days before being able to register. A total of 28 new domain name registrars will be set up. Registrars will be selected by lottery from applicants who fulfil financial and technical requirements that Committee chair Don Heath says were loosely based on Network Solutions Inc’s example. Obviously, he believes that congestion and not incompetence is at the heart of current woes at Network Solutions. Potential registrars will have to pay $20,000 to be considered in the lottery. Heath says that although the committee hopes to have new registrars up within four months, and, for example if Microsoft Corp applied to be a registrar, it could be up and running quickly, it will likely be the end of the year before most registrars are fully operational.

The seven new domains

The seven new domains created would be .firm, .store, .web, .arts, .rec, .info, and .nom. The Committee calls for disputes over domain names to be handled by on-line mediation under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center. Network Solutions would regain control over the domains it currently registers, like .com, until either its agreement with the National Science Foundation, the government organization that awarded Network Solutions its domain name contract – expires, or is terminated. And, reports our sister newsletter Online Reporter, that relationship is currently under review by the National Science Foundation’s Inspector General. In any case, the deal is set to expire in the fall of 1998. At that point all domain spaces will be up for grabs. The report also casts light on the specifics of how top level domains will be administered, and paves the way for the eventual dissolution of the Internet AdHoc Committee, which must then somehow mutate itself into something called the Policy Oversight Committee, made up of appointees from the same organizations that appointed the current Committee members. This new body will then oversee the 28 new registrars and Network Solutions Inc. It is chartered to ensure that domains are administered and operated in a public and open manner which balances the commercial interests of the registrars with the public policy interests of the Internet domain name space. Heath admits that the institutions that come in place will have to be better defined as the recommendations move from abstraction to working organizations, but he hopes that the arduous public consultation already carried out to formulate the recommendations will pay off in a working alternative to the current situations, which nobody seems to like. A call for new registrars is expected to go out this week, when the new domains will be opened up. Potential registrars will be considered for the 60 days following that, and new registrars will be awarded a month after that.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.