FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 1998

CONTACT: Karen Kirchgasser
 (202) 482-7002


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has provided notice that it will submit a proposal for an agreement with the Department to administer policy for the development of competition in the Internet name and address space. The Department expects to receive this proposal on October 1, 1998. The Department understands that other proposals may be submitted as well.

In June, the United States government invited the global community of Internet stakeholders to work together to form such a corporation to manage DNS functions. The Statement of Policy issued by the Department of Commerce on June 5 (the White Paper) indicated that the United States is prepared to recognize, by entering into agreement with, and to seek international support for a private corporation committed to operating the DNS system in a manner that preserves the stability of the Internet, supports the development of competition and greater consumer choice, preserves, as far as possible, the bottom-up coordination characteristic of Internet operation, and that reflects the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet and its users. The plan is expected to include a list of individuals proposed for the corporation's initial board of directors.

"The private-sector has worked hard in response to our challenge issued in June," said Andrew Pincus, General Counsel of the Department of Commerce. "The work undertaken to develop the new corporation demonstrates the power of private sector leadership in the Internet environment. The Internet community's response to the White Paper has moved us closer to the development of competition in the Internet name and address space."

After the proposals have been received, the Department of Commerce will post the documents at and will accept public comments for ten days which will also be posted. The Department of Commerce will also consult with interested governments to obtain their views on any proposals submitted. Electronic comments can be sent to Written comments can also be sent to: Karen Rose, NTIA/OIA, Room 4701, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230. After the Department reviews the proposals and comments, it will initiate negotiations for an agreement to implement the transition described in the White Paper.

Also, the Department of Commerce and Network Solutions, Inc. today agreed to extend the flexibility period of Cooperative Agreement No. NCR-9218742 for one week through October 7, 1998. Under the Cooperative Agreement, NSI operates the .com, .net, .org and .edu registries. The one week extension provides additional time to complete negotiations between NSI and the United States government designed to ramp down the Cooperative Agreement with the objective of introducing competition into the domain name space.