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July 31, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:37pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The tide appears to be turning against Network Solutions Inc, the company that has the exclusive federal contract to allocate, administer and maintain the .com, .net and .org internet domain names, which are collectively referred to as the generic Top Level Domains. The Internet Society is about to make a significant announcement that could force Network Solutions Inc to get behind the plan put forward by the Society and its interim Policy Oversight Committee offshoot, to establish seven new top level domains with competition for the registration process. According to Internet Society president and chief executive Don Heath, who is also chairman of the Committee, which was previously known as the International Ad-Hoc Committee, the plan has won the support of AT&T Corp and IBM Corp plus other unnamed major players, who have apparently agreed to guarantee the internet infrastructure as much as they are capable. Although it has not yet been publicly announced, we understand this will involve some sort of service level guarantee and obviously requires all the major internet service providers to back it in order for it to be meaningful. But it is a first major win for the Policy Oversight Committee grouping, which up until now has been perceived by many as a bunch of well meaning, but slightly ineffectual internet veterans. Network Solutions Inc is currently facing an anti-trust investigation by the US Department of Justice and is also planning an initial public offering, spinning it out of its parent, Science Applications International Corp, or SAIC. Meanwhile NSI’s chief executive Gabe Battista conceded that the company would support the sharing of databases with other registrars for the three domains. Up until now – although now Battista maintains this was the company’s position all along – NSI has maintained that it would not share databases.

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