Domain Name Game Goes Into Extra Innings

Friday’s deadline came and went for Network Solutions without the completion of its shared registration system tests and, as expected, the company extended the deadline to July 16.

The testing is designed to prepare the five initial testbed registrars to take over when Network Solutions’ contract runs out next year. As of Friday’s deadline, only has come online.

Technical difficulties and legal issues with the U.S. Department of Commerce have been blamed for the delay.

“This extension has been expected for some time, anticipating that it would take a registrar at least
60 to 90 days to develop, test and implement its end of the registration system after being accredited,” said David H. Holtzman, NSI’s chief technology officer.

“The security, stability and robustness, which are critical to the ultimate success of competitive registrations in the domain name system and competitive registrations, need to be assured in a multi-registrar environment.”

NSI and the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers have been in intense debates over how to handle the domain name registration process. One sticky issue is whether NSI should sign an accreditation agreement with ICANN to make it a registrar with equal stature as the other five. NSI is also arguing with ICANN over the price registrars will pay NSI to enter domain names into NSI’s database.

Until these issues are resolved, experts say it will be tough for the registration system to transfer smoothly.

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