Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom and MCI are among a handful of companies who have backed VeriSign Inc.’s continued operation of the .net internet top-level domain, according to recently published correspondence.
Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s CTO, wrote to US Secretary of Commerce, Donald Evans, in late July, stating: We endorse VeriSign’s performance to date, and we hope they will continue to operate the .net registry.
The Department of Commerce has ultimate responsibility over who runs what top-level domain, though in practice all the decisions are delegated to California non-profit ICANN, the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers.
ICANN will pick a successor operator when VeriSign’s .net contract ends next year. VeriSign will reapply for the job, which has been generating it cash for close to a decade, and has been laying on the lobbying pretty thick for several months.
In the Evans letter, copied to ICANN, Microsoft’s Mundie stated, We do not perceive a benefit in transitioning to another operator and we want to avoid any risk to performance that would occur during such a transition.
Companies thought to be interested in running .net include Neulevel/Neustar, which currently run the .us and .biz domains, along with phone number directories, and Aflias Ltd, which runs .info and .org.