The stock market, pessimistic all last week about the future of Network Solutions Inc once the government had announced its plans for the future of the domain name system, threw a little party when it finally saw what the government had proposed, but it remains to be seen if a hangover will last longer than […]
The stock market, pessimistic all last week about the future of Network Solutions Inc once the government had announced its plans for the future of the domain name system, threw a little party when it finally saw what the government had proposed, but it remains to be seen if a hangover will last longer than the festivities. NSI’s stock jumped $6.75, or almost 21% to close at $39.25, following Friday’s news that the government was leaving the management of the domain name system largely up to the internet community, which meant NSI had a big head-start in the name registration business, as it has been a monopoly in that market for the past five years. In the five days prior to the release of the white paper NSI’s stock had shed almost 14% of its value as uncertainty caused some investors to get out of the stock. NSI’s position hasn’t really changed at all since the green paper was published at the end of January. It will lose its monopoly on .com, .net and .org registration and it accepts that and says it positively welcomes it. The white paper says the government will be talking to NSI between now and the end of the ramp-down period of NSI’s contract, which ends September 30. The paper calls on NSI to agree to make available on an ongoing basis appropriate databases, software, documentation thereof, technical expertise, and other intellectual property for DNS management and shared registration of domain names. NSI’s senior VP internet affairs Don Telage said the company and the government have to both sit down and work out what the term ‘appropriate’ means. The Herndon, Virginia-based company says it will comply with the government’s demands, including that it should recognize the role of the non-profit corporation and in particular its right to insert new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) into the internet’s root, as well as the rights of other registrars to register names in the .com,. net and .org name spaces. The talks between the government are to establish terms (including licensing terms) applicable to new and existing gTLD registries under which registries, registrars and gTLDs are permitted to operate, says the government’s paper. NSI also plans to get involved in the formation of the non-profit corporation , and to that end Telage revealed that it has joined an informal workshop comprising internet service providers, commercial interest groups, potential registrars and individuals who are trying to determine some of the framework issues not spelled out in the white paper, said Telage, by which he means the framework of the non-profit corporation. He declined to be more specific or to name names, but we have garnered some information about who is involved (see separate story today). NSI feels that with its experience it can be a valuable player in the formation and running of the corporation – and of course look after its interest as well. It said it has watched the various factions squabble over the years about what is right for the internet’s infrastructure and seen them come closer to some kind of consensus and believes, having seen all sides of the story, it can offer some perspective. There is a lot of work to be done very quickly as the paper does not specify how the non-profit corporation will be established, but as NSI chief executive Gabe Battista said, if the government had put all the details together, it wouldn’t leave much for self-governance. NSI says it has not been contacted yet by the government about talks, but Telage said it had been told that it would be contacted soon after the white paper. Now that is out I’ll be standing by the phone.