Players Finally Strike Domain Deal

Network Solutions Inc. and The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers Thursday struck a deal with The Department of Commerce that will govern the future administration of the domain name system.

Network Solutions (NSOL) will get control of the database containing the record of domain names already registered for the next four years along with an option to renew the deal for another four. In return, ICANN will receive $1.25 million pre-paid from NSI.

Network Solutions will continue to receive $6 for each domain name registered by a competitor. That money will fund the administration of the shared registry system.

Before the deal was reached a number of competing registrars voiced several issues of concern including registry performance standards, whether or not NSI would be forced to pre-pay registration fees and whether prospective domain registrars would be told of alternatives to NSI.

ICANN’s board resolved the pre-payment issue by mandating NSI to move to a prepayment system within four months. Until that time, only registrations that are priced less than the standard $70 have to be pre-paid.

ICANN Chair Esther Dyson, said while the negotiations were difficult, their successful completion means the organization can now move forward.

“On behalf of the whole, newly enlarged ICANN Board, I am extremely pleased
that on our first anniversary we have reached this important milestone and
are now in a position to move forward.

“Negotiations are always difficult, and the
ability of all sides to reach a compromise after listening – and responding – to the concerns of the community is a testament to the ICANN consensus
building process.”

Formal signing of Thursday’s deal is expected to take place within the next week.

In other developments, ICANN’s board Thursday accepted a $200,000 grant from the Markle Foundation that will be used to set-up the administration of an at-large membership.

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