DNS registry applications open - at $US10,000 a pop

Applications have opened for organisations that wish to become domain name registries under a new system for the allocation of Internet domain names. But in order to be considered, bids must be accompanied by a $10,000 fee, and companies must show proof of assets totaling $300,000, as well as liability insurance coverage of $500,000. The financial conditions replace the organising committee's original plan for a lottery for places, which was heavily criticised.

Applications have opened for organisations that wish to become domain name registries under a new system for the allocation of Internet domain names.

But in order to be considered, bids must be accompanied by a $10,000 fee, and companies must show proof of assets totaling $300,000, as well as liability insurance coverage of $500,000. The financial conditions replace the organising committee's original plan for a lottery for places, which was heavily criticised.

The interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC) will receive applications until October 16 for registries that agree to the committee's plan to revamp the domain name system and to participate in a "council of registries" that will oversee the global allocation of the names.

The acceptance of applications is a step forward for iPOC amid intense criticism from some players in the Internet community over its plan to create seven new generic top-level domains to complement existing names such as .com, .gov and .org. Though iPOC continues to draw fire, the proposal, at least in its rough form, appears to be quietly gaining acceptance within much of the community.

In a related development, MCI Communications. says that while the iPOC plan is not perfect, it applauds the committee's effort. MCI is "committed to working with and taking a leadership role in the refinement of the policies, practices and procedures" required for a new domain name registration system, the company said in a 42-page statement on Internet policy in general.

Results of the application process will be posted at http://www.gtld-mou.org/.

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