New domain name admin takes off on Monday

So farewell then, Network Solutions -- but you can still collect the rent

On Monday, the monopoly to register domain names ending in .COM, .ORG and .NET, held hitherto by Network Solutions, will end and five new registrars will be authorised by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These are: AOL, France Telecom, The Internet Council of Registrars, Melbourne IT, and register.com [no relation]. Network Solutions will be able to charge a fee to the other registrars to access its database, and will receive a one-time fee of $50,000 from new registrars, while ICANN will receive $5000 annually from each registrar. Further competition will be introduced in June when 29 additional registrars will open shop, including three from the UK: NetBenefit, Netnames and Virtual Internet, plus the Anglo-American InfoNetworks. The reason for the two-stage approach is to be sure that the software will be bug-free. There has been criticism of the efficiency and service offered by Network Solutions, and it will be interesting to see how the new registrars shape up. Competition on prices and added facilities is likely. ®

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