07-12-97 Electronic Filings on Internet Domain Names

Number: 107
From:      PHD ATKMajic@iname.com>
To:        NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date:      7/12/97 5:46pm
Subject:   Handling Domain Name controversy

     I'm try to make my points brief, not because I don't want my time,
but because I know you must have much mail on this to read.
     First, the present INTERNic monopoly is definitely bogus. The
stated use of the $100 registration fee is to support the Nameserver
architecture, but the way nameservers are maintained, mostly by
educational and commercial entities that don't recieve any support from
INTERnic, has just meant a huge, momopolistic profit for Network
Solutions, and has been detrimental to the development of the internet.
This needs to end!
      Second, the .US domain registry has the right approach, keeping
the registration cost down to $10 per year, and allowing for a network
of registrars who are compensated out of the small fee, but the
COMPLEXITY of the .US naming system, and the long domain names it tends
to produce, severly limit the usefullness of that alternative. The
naming system is severly flawed!
     Third, there DOES need to be a system that allows for competition,
but by turning one monopoly into seven under the Internet Society
proposal does not seem to be any kind of guarentee that pricing will be
positively effected. It seems likely this hand picked group of seven
companies will just be splitting up Network Solutions unwarrented
      Alternatively, there SHOULD be a non- profit, possibly government
but non- government would be prefered, entity that will oversee the the
domain proccess of allowing other companies to take responsibility for
presenting new top level domains and allowing them to charge what they
feel they need to be profitable, while remaining competitive with other
top level domains. This could either be a system where a large number of
new domains being doled out to companies willing and able to provide top
level domain service, with specific criteria being set by the governing
body, but basically not limiting the number of such domains to an
arbitrary number. This would be based on the .US model, but instead of
following the arcane architecture of the .US system i.e. a server can
administer something like "boston.MA.US", would allow the sub- services
to offer their own unique top level domains i.e. .dog .bob .wow .aol
      Even though I feel the .US domain system has proven that a domain
registration system CAN be doled out to many hundreds of entities and
still function, to keep the situation from becoming chaotic a slight
variation might be desirable. Using a system similar to the above, with
a Non- profit organizing the specifications for the system, but
auctioning off a fixed number of domains to the LOWEST bidders, on a
limited year contract basis. i.e. allowing maybe 50 new top level
domains (this is not as chaotic as may seem, people already have to
remember the first part of addresses, and often can end up in the wrong
place by assuming it is a .com, a larger number of top level domains
would actually lead to fewer situations, as with the recent internic.com
passing themselves of as internic.net, the real INTERnic), with
allowances in the standards and specifications to allow that number to
increase over time. And LOWEST bidder would be based on the amount per
year the company will charge customers, not what they will pay the new
non- profit oversite organization, the non- profit should recieve a
small set fee per registration to pay for it's costs. Using .US as an
example, maybe $5 per registration going directly to the non- profit,
this fee being adjustable upwards or downward to cover ACTUAL costs, but
limited to a certain percent increase per year.
     This system allows for true competitiveness, as any company wishing
to enter the game could bid on the domains. Since not huge profit, but
reasonable profit, would be the driving force, the fees to customers
would be more in line with actual cost plus a reasonable profit, not the
unwarrented profit that INTERNic has been handed.
     There also would seem to be plenty of incentive for companies to
enter the domain business as a value added approach. i.e. An ISP or
online service could secure a top level domain that reflects the service
i.e. America Online could secure .aol and while not making huge profit
on actual registrations, offer the advantage of a cheap domain
registration only to customers of their online service, increasing the
value of joining the particular ISP or online service. It seems on
reflection that under this type of system, more than 50 top level
domains in the future would be easier to manage than it may first
     I'll be formulating this a little better and trying to get support
from other users in the future, but I hope you will at least take a good
look at this as it is written now. I know there are kinks in it, but it
seems doable and would allow true competition and lead to more
reasonable registration fees for the expanding number of users wishing
to register a domain.
     Thanks for your time,
      Paul H Desmond Jr.

[The above email address and URL are (most likely) permanent. You should
always be able to reach me there.]

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