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The handover of the management of the .org top-level internet domain from VeriSign Inc to the Public Internet Registry, an affiliate of the Internet Society, was successfully completed over the weekend, PIR said yesterday.

Afilias Ltd, which has the contract to provide back-end systems for PIR, said the cutover left .org domain owners with no interruption in services during the transition. Registration systems kicked in within 48 hours of the cutover process starting.

Afilias and PIR said within the first 30 minutes of reopening the registry after the data was transferred over 18,000 transactions were executed, and up to 170 concurrent connections were maintained.

By 10am US Eastern time yesterday, almost 1800 new domain names had been registered. Afilias will not allow any changes to be made to existing .org domains until later today, to ensure stability.

The change was the largest registry-to-registry handover of domains in the history of the internet. About 2.6 million names were involved. PIR won the contract in a competitive bidding process managed by the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers.

VeriSign voluntarily gave up the .org contract under a deal with ICANN that allowed it to keep hold of its contract to run the far more lucrative .com domain for several more years, with an option on renewal.

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