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RealTime IT News

MindSpring, NSI to Offer Country-Level Domain Registration

Domain registrar Network Solutions Inc. and MindSpring Enterprises Inc. Wednesday inked an agreement to jointly offer country level domain name services.

MindSpring (MSPG) subsidiary MindSpring Biz will lean on its parent company's status as a NSI (NSOL) affiliate to offer idNames services, which will enable the companies to sell registrations to more than 200 country-code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs).

The two companies will offer the service through a co-branded Web site.

Doug Wolford, NSI's senior vice president-general manager of registrar and value-added services, encouraged customers to protect company brand names through ccTLD registration. He added that such a defense was "especially important for growing businesses to expand their online presence in new markets abroad."

While only 191 of the 243 existing ccTLDs are currently registering names, the combined top-level and sub-domain names create a pool of 359 active options, according to NSI's idNames service. The duo could not allow registration for all country names due to variations in requirements for local presence, which effectively bars those seeking to sign up for domains in Japan and France, among other countries. 154 domains do not require any local presence or application evaluation.

Several US-based heavyweights have battled and lost domain names in other countries, including America Online Inc. (AOL), which lost a local court ruling to a Brazilian ISP which had already registering aol.com.br. The ISP launched its Brazil services under www.americaonline.com.br and br.aol.com.