The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Thursday revealed plans to give EDUCAUSE, a higher education technology association, administrative control of the .edu registry.
In a Federal Register notice NTIA said it would enter into a cooperative agreement with the association, a non-profit group with more than 1,800 college and university members. The agreement will be awarded for a five-year period which NTIA said could be renewed indefinitely upon satisfactory performance. Further, the agreement costs the federal government nothing, and EDUCAUSE will only be able to recover its cost of administering the domain services.
NTIA said the agreement will facilitate policy development and technical operations in the .edu domain, a restricted top level domain currently available only to four year degree granting higher education institutions. However, NTIA indicated that EDUCAUSE intends to implement a policy that is more responsive to the needs of the higher education community, which may open the .edu space to community and two-year colleges.
NTIA said the agreement will be exclusive to EDUCAUSE.
“No other administering organization is being solicited with this notice,” NTIA wrote in its notice. “EDUCAUSE has the requisite technical and organizational capability as well as the educational community support to appropriately administer .edu.”
EDUCAUSE was formed by the consolidation of two prominent higher education technology associations — CAUSE and EDUcom — and advocates the development and management of networking for higher education.