The free status of Internet domain name registration will be history within weeks as the Internet Society adopts a similar system of charges to that established in the US. A procedure for disputes over names has already been agreed.
A meeting of the ISOCNZ council during the recent UniForum conference in Rotorua confirmed that the domain name service would be non-profit but self-sustaining, and would also not be used to finance any other activity, society chairman Roger Hicks says.
The US scheme seems a reasonable model, says Hicks. Im not saying that well adopt every detail, but the aspect of charges for registering and keeping a domain name is sound--the UK has just instituted a similar regime.
Waikato University currently handles registration of all the commercial domains and staff exercise their judgement over the appropriateness of names, but from now on disagreements over allocation will go forward to the operations committee of ISOCNZ, instituting a second level of appeal.
Rather than taking over the registration process itself, ISOCNZ will retain the services of Waikato and Victoria University (which handles ministry and government domains) as agents, Hicks says, but we will leave ourselves in a position to move agencies to other people to generate the best service.