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With Congressional hearings underway in Washington regarding the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its approval of new top level domain names, a number of local businesses are getting involved.
Brian Cartmell, founder and CEO of Seattle-based dot-cc top level domain registrar eNIC, will be testifying in front of the Senate commerce committee next Wednesday.
Cartmell, who founded eNIC to take advantage of the coming shortage of dot.com domain names, will take the stand to express his concerns over ICANN.
According to Cartmell, ICANN hasn't worked out contracts with the 240 country code top level domain (ccTLD) operators, and doesn't feel that they should move into another area until they have finished work on the ccTLDs.
"They should not be moving into another area until they have this one finished," says Cartmell. "They are not really doing what they were set forth to do, and that was to build consensus."
According to the CEO, ICANN has gone out and tried to generate a revenue piece for itself instead of trying to get a contract with everyone, ignoring the part of their charter focused on getting agreements with the 240-plus ccTLD operators.
"There are 240-plus CCTLDs that are being underutilized and there hasn't even been a study to determine whether we really need new (generic top level domains)-- it's been all by pressure from certain groups."
While Cartmell testifies, and the debate continues in Washington D.C., Seattle-based Network Commerce Inc. has begun pre-registering generic top level domains for the seven new domain extensions in hopes that they will be up and running in the spring.
The company expects the registration of new top level domains through its Registrars.com division to be a new revenue stream for Network Commerce, which has gone through a restructuring process in the past months.
"We believe the new top level domains will greatly expand choices for businesses and individuals on the Internet," said Hannah Coan, senior vice president of Network Commerce. "For Network Commerce, we also believe this will be a great opportunity for us to cross-sell our domain registration services to our customer base of one million businesses and increase incremental revenue."
Through Registrars.com, businesses and individuals may now pre-register domain names using the new extensions, which looks as though it will become available and integrated as part of the Internet's root servers in spring 2001.
The seven new domain extensions include are dot-biz, dot-info, dot-name, dot-pro, dot-aero, dot-coop, and dot-museum.
According to company officials, during the short time pre-registration has been available through Network Commerce, the company has already pre-registered 300,000 domain names.