Free domain reign ends on Net

A move to an annuity-based fee model and a hurry-up for the hundreds of people sitting on 'reserved' domains are the main features of the Internet Society's new policy on Internet domain names.

A move to an annuity-based fee model and a hurry-up for the hundreds of people sitting on "reserved" domains are the main features of the Internet Society's new policy on Internet domain names.

ISOCNZ has been signalling for some time that domain registration, hitherto run out of goodwill at Waikato University, would be made self-funding. Its new fee structure, which is on similar lines to those being adopted worldwide is:

* A registration fee for each new domain name of $20 plus GST

* A "maintenance fee" of $50 plus GST a year for each domain name for all level three registered domain names.

* A fee of $16 plus GST for each invoice or reminder to cover invoicing costs.

ISOCNZ treasurer Colin Jackson says the new scheme is intended to be self-funding and non-profit.

"We're not doing this to build up a cash surplus and any surplus we do generate will be re-applied for genuine DNS purposes."

New rules requiring both organisations with mail-only connections and those holding reserved domains are aimed at "tidying up the top level of the New Zealand DNS", says Jackson. "All we're saying to both those groups is to go out and get themselves an Internet service provider. We'd far rather be dealing with ISPs than with individuals and companies. The form to fill for a DNS application is fairly technical and if people need help with it they shouldn't be doing it. It's up to ISPs how much margin they charge for the service, if anything."

ISOCNZ has decided to deal with the problem of eligibility for domain names by bowing out of the argument. Applicants will be expected to prove they are entitled to use their chosen domain names.

Holders of existing names and those wishing to apply for new names should deal with the registry through their ISPs. Names held before July 22 will not be liable to a registration fee, but will have a maintenance charge levied with six months from that date. Applications for new names and changes can be made through the DNS application form at http://www.isocnz.org.nz.

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