Isocnz councillor aims to open up registry business

A proposal to cut back the monopoly of the Internet Society of New Zealand (Isocnz) over the New Zealand domain name system will be put to the Isocnz AGM tomorrow.

A proposal to cut back the monopoly of the Internet Society of New Zealand (Isocnz) over the New Zealand domain name system will be put to the Isocnz AGM tomorrow.

Isocnz council member David Farrar has circulated notice to Isocnz members that he will move a motion calling for action to move the administration of the New Zealand DNS to a shared registry system.

Such a system would mean that Isocnz's registry business, Domainz, which currently has a monopoly on registry activities, would withdraw from retail activity and function only as the keeper of the .nz registry.

If Farrar's resolution is passed, it is binding on the council. The resolution is in four parts:

1) That Isocnz move the management of *.nz to a shared registration system along the lines of the ICANN/NSI/DOC agreement for *.com.

2) That the Isocnz council set up a open working group which has six months to develop a full proposal after consultation with Domainz, interested ISPs and Registrars. This proposal would go to a full membership vote of Isocnz.

3) That the move to a shared registration system must be completed by June 2001.

4) That after a further period of 12 months Domainz must withdraw from any registrar activities and function as the registry only in terms of *.nz.

"My reasons for moving this motion are simple," writes Farrar in his notice. "It is because I believe it fulfills the first of the fundamental objectives which ISOCNZ was founded on. That objective is: 'To promote the competitive provision of Internet access, services and facilities in an open and uncaptureable environment.'

"To me this includes restricting our own monopoly position with *.nz.

"The technical nature of the DNS makes it inevitable that there can be only one master listing and that this will be a monopoly. However what we should attempt to do is to restrict that monopoly portion to as small as possible and a shared registry system will facilitate this.

"This move would be entirely consistent with the international moves to remove NSI's monopoly in *.com, *.org and *.net by implementing there a shared registration system and also after a transition making NSI choose between being just a registry or a registrar, not both."

Farrar also suggests that taking up the Icann/NSI shared registry model could result in a substantial drop for registrars in the cost of using the registry . He doubts New Zealand could achieve the economies of scale necessary to bring charges down to the $US6 a year under the US agreements, "but as DDomainz is predicting multi-million profits in future years there is certainly considerable room for movement."

Details of the ICANN/NSI agreements can be found at http://www.icann.org/nsi/factsheet.htm and more specific details at http://www.icann.org/nsi/nsi-agreements.htm.

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