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Network Solutions domain name licence renewed

NSI stays in charge until 2000 in return for registration data

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It's not a done deal, but in exchange for Network Solutions, Inc. agreeing to surrender technical data about its procedure for domain name registration, the company almost certainly will have its contract, recently moved to the US Department of Commerce, extended until 2000. The House Subcommittee on Science looked at the proposal yesterday, now that it has the safety factor of having the means to let other organisations could do the same thing as NSI, if it so desired. NSI has data on 2.5 million registrations gathered over five years, and expects to be confirmed in its role as registrar. However, it will have to allow other organisations to sell domain names ending in .co, .net and .org by the second quarter of 1999 when US government control should cease completely. The pricing of domain names has not yet been decided. Ira Magaziner, the White House Advisor on such matters, pronounced himself "pretty happy with the level of consensus" although he recognised there had been some acrimony amongst the stakeholders. The principal remaining objections concern the bylaws of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), particularly civil liberties issues and public access to meetings. There was a rival bid from the so-called Boston Working Group, whose members include a range of corporations, lawyers and small business owners, that accused ICANN of ignoring the consensus. ® Click for more stories

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