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ICANN Unleashes New .com Registrars

In an attempt to break up the monopoly that is Network Solutions Inc. (NSI, www.networksolutions.com), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the five companies, including America Online Inc. (www.aol.com), that have been selected to participate in the initial testbed phase of the new competitive "Shared Registry System" for the .com, .net and .org domains.

The other four registrars are the Internet Council of Registrars (CORE, www.coreinc.com), France Telecom/Oleane (www.oleane.com), Melbourne IT (http://ina.com.au) and Register.com (www.register.com).

Under the cooperative agreement between NSI and the U.S. Government, the competitive registrar testbed program will run from April 26 to June 24. Following the conclusion of this "Phase I", the Shared Registry System for the domains will be opened on equal terms to all registrars that meet ICANN's standards for accreditation and will be able to enter the market as a registrar and offer customers competitive domain name registration services.

In addition to the five testbed participants, ICANN also announced the 29 other applicant companies that have met its accreditation criteria and are expected to be accredited to compete as registrars at the end of Phase I. Namely in that list is AT&T (www.att.net). Another company on the list, NetNames Intl. (www.netnames.com) has been a force in the non-U.S. market for registering international domains. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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