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Academics Propose Takeover of .edu Domain

A consortium of academic and technology professionals is proposing to take over the administration of the top-level .edu domain, setting up a potential battle between educators and Network Solutions Inc.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, EDUCAUSE wants to take over the .edu domain because it says some organizations that have applied for an .edu address do not qualify.

More than a year ago, EDUCOM -- a predecessor to EDUCAUSE -- asked the National Science Foundation to grant it administration rights for the .edu domain. Since that time, Internet address responsibility has been passed to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That group is now working with The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers to transfer the domain system from government control.

While Commerce Department officials have refused to comment on the situation, an EDUCAUSE vice president believes a decision on the domain will be made soon.

Network Solutions said it uses an extensive screening process to ensure .edu applicants are qualified to use the domain. However, there is currently no independent verification of the information that applicants provide.

NSI spokesman Cheryl Regan said of the 1,500 .edu applications received each month, less than 10 percent are granted. However, she conceded to the Chronicle that errors could have been made. Regan said NSI will remove registrations if it becomes aware an .edu domain has been falsely obtained.

NSI charges nothing to register .edu domains.

Current rules stipulate only four-year colleges and universities can receive an .edu address, although some academicians have asked the rules be changed so two-year institutions can use the domain.



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