The US government and Network Solutions (NSI) have announced two-year extension to an existing agreement under which NSI will share the registration of top-level Internet domains with other companies in a phased approach.
NSI and the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) agreed to begin phasing in the shared registration system in March 31, 1999, with full implementation by June 1, 1999, according to a statement.
"NSI will build a shared registration system to support multiple licensed, accredited registrars offering registration services," the statement said.
Under the shared system, NSI and other domain name registrars will function as retailers of domain name registration services. NSI will continue to serve as the registry, or wholesaler, of .com, .net and .org domain name registrations.
Since its founding in 1979 NSI has registered more than 2.3 million domain names in those domains and .edu under a five-year cooperative agreement with the US government. The new pact extends the agreement through Sept. 30, 2000.
The agreement also calls for:
-- NSI to submit to the US government a copy of all software and data generated under the cooperative agreement through Sept. 30, 1998;
-- NSI to specify a dollar amount per registration, per year, for the four top-level domains in a future amendment to the extended agreement that reflects NSI's costs and a reasonable return on its investment once the shared registration system is implemented;
--NSI to negotiate a contract with a new non-profit corporation that will act as a coordinating body for domain name system administrative functions once the creation of that entity is finalized by the U.S. government; and
-- NSI to continue to function as the administrator for the primary root server, known as root server A, for the root server system and as a root zone administrator until the U.S. government instructs NSI to transfer either or both of those functions to the new administrative body or another entity.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which currently has a contract with the US government to oversee the Internet addresses, domains and protocols, has submitted to the government a proposal for creating a new organization to assume those responsibilities. It is one of several proposals submitted.
NSI, based in Herndon, Virginia, can be reached at +1-703-742-0400 or on the Web at http://www.networksolutions.com/