A group of heavyweight technology companies are looking at raising ?seed money? to back a private initiative to reform the Internet?s name and address system.
The group, dubbed Global Internet Project, is looking at raising $500,000 from Internet companies to cover the setting up of a non-profit making corporation that will oversee Net names and addresses in the US.
A number of companies and groups in both the US and Europe have been working on drawing up a reform plan for the Internet name and address system, since the Clinton administration said it was phasing out it support.
Controversial questions on how the name and address system will work still have to be answered. No decision has yet been made on whether new top-level domains - the two or three letter suffixes at the end of Internet addresses - should be added and how disputes over trademarks can be resolved.
The new, non-profit making company will have to come up with reforms fast, say analysts. It will also have to come up with a role for Network Solutions, a company contracted by the US government that currently has exclusive authority to register names in the most popular top-level domains ".com," ".org" and ".net." Network Solutions? contract expires at the end of this month, but there is an option to extend it through any transition periods.
The Clinton administration has said that if the Internet community cannot agree on Internet reforms it will have to step in and take over the reins. This could seriously hobble the Internet?s development, say analysts.
The Global Internet Project is comprised of 13 large corporations, including IBM, MCI, Netscape Communications, BT and Deutsche Telecom.
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