The controversial proposal to reform the method of allocating Internet domain names was signed in Geneva yesterday despite remaining opposition from crucial parties. Although a lawsuit aiming to put a hold on the treaty was waiting to be heard in a California court, 57 organisations and vendors signed the proposal and 23 more signalled their intention to do so.
However, neither the US government nor the European Union have signed the motion yet. The EU has demanded talks with the US to formulate a joint policy on the issue.
Also absent from the list of signatories were Network Solutions, whose monopoly on the business of registering Internet addresses would be broken under the new proposals, and ISP/Consortium, the body representing Internet service providers, many of which have been fierce critics of the scheme. It will poll its members before making its decision. However, one of the largest ISPs, UUnet, did sign the treaty.
The proposals (see previous stories this week) were spearheaded by the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) and among the vendors signing up were Digital Equipment and Telecom Italia.
A California company, Image Online Design, has filed a suit in the San Luis Obispo court requesting a restraining order to block the IAHC plans, but this is still waiting to be heard.
The agreement will add seven new top level domains or suffixes to the list available for Internet addresses. The new suffixes are '.firm', '.web', '.arts', '.rec', '.nom', '.info' and '.store' and are additional to the existing five generic domains such as '.com'.
The business of allocating and registering Internet addresses will also be opened up to competition.
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