Domain Registration Test Extended Once Again

Citing disagreement between the organizations involved, the test period for domain name registration was extended for the fourth time to Sept. 30 by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The testing of Network Solutions, Inc.’s (NSOL) Shared Registry System began in April, with the company working with the Department of Commerce and the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to open competition.

But the groups have had unresolved issues since the domain name transition began, and the deadline has already been extended three times.

“NSI, ICANN, and the Department of Commerce have made great progress in resolving their differences, and the end of those discussions is in sight,” said Andrew J. Pincus, general counsel for the Department of Commerce. “This additional extension should allow us to bring them to conclusion.”

NSI and ICANN have disagreements include over charging fees, and whether to open NSI’s database to other registrars. One still sticky issue is whether NSI should sign an accreditation agreement with ICANN to make it a registrar with equal stature as the others. No specific issue was mentioned that needs resolving, but the groups said they want to iron out any problems before ending the test period.

So far, 10 registrars have been approved to register .com, .org and .net domain names, and another 47 are still in the testing phase.

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