In the world of Internet governance, the partition between registrars and registries has been a structural separation on a par with church and state. But that’s set to come to an end, thanks to a recent vote by the board of ICANN.
Many domain-name players had warned against the move, arguing that it would invite anti-competitive behavior. In response, ICANN has determined to implement safeguards to preserve the integrity of the market in the era of cross-ownership.
With registrars looking to take over top-level domains, they will have to work through a host of technical issues, creating an opportunity for established registries like Afilias to sell back-end services. Enterprise Networking Planet takes a look.
Since 1998, there has been a separation between domain registries that manage and operate Top Level Domains (TLD) and the registrars that sell domain names. That policy of separation will not be carried forward for a new generation of TLDs, set to emerge over the course of the next several years.
A number of domain name industry stakeholders — including the .org registry and TLD operator Afilias —
opposed the move to remove the separation of registries from registrars. They argued that having cross-ownership could lead to abuses and lack of competition. With a new ICANN policy set to enable cross-ownership, consumer protections will be put in place which may help alleviate those concerns.