Network Solutions has finally broken its deadlock with the US government on the terms of opening up its monopoly on the registration of Internet addresses.
Network Solutions has managed to limit the authority of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN) whilst keeping control of the .com registry for at least four more years,
In return Network Solutions will sink £1.25 million into ICAAN and drop the wholesale price it charges competitors for entering registrations in the network’s chief directory.
It will offer public access to its directory, although it will charge companies licensing fees for bulk access the the data it has compiled as the sole registrar of more than five million .com, .net and .org domain addresses. Domain name owners can now transfer their registrations to other companies without a penalty.
The agreement is expected to be ratified at the next ICAAN meeting in November.
Industry watchers believe that the agreement is a true compromise on the side of both parties.
Under the agreement, Network Solutions will retain the contract for administering the registry for the .com, .net and .org domains for four years. If it agrees to spin off the registry business from its job as a competing registrar, it can take advantage of an option to extend that contract for an additional four years.
Competing companies will pay a wholesale price of $6 per name, per year, to register new addresses into the database for an initial two year term. Network Solutions currently charges $35 for this service.
Currently 11 companies are competing with Network Solutions in registering Internet addresses for .com, .net and .org. They will almost certainly now be forced to cut prices to compete.
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