Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – (The Hosting News) – November 30, 2005 – 1&1 Internet is leading a group of large domain registrars in opposing a draft proposal between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and domain registry giant VeriSign, Inc. that would give VeriSign exclusive control over the .com domain.
The opposition group claims that the plan harms competition within the Internet industry and could negatively impact end-users worldwide.
1&1, along with almost all major domain registrars (companies who register Internet addresses on behalf of their customers with registry organizations like VeriSign), is critical of both the content of the proposed agreement – which, among other things, would allow VeriSign to arbitrarily increase domain fees up to seven percent per year – and the manner in which it was drafted.
1&1’s Domain Expert Eric Schaetzlein commented, ”The current draft of the agreement practically assigns .com to VeriSign forever. This contradicts ICANN’s core mission to promote competition in the Internet industry, which was established in its own by-laws and in the Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
According to Schaetzlein, 1&1’s and the other domain registrars’ biggest concern with the proposal is the effect that the potential seven percent annual fee increases could have on global Internet users, and the fact that VeriSign can implement the price hikes without justification. Web hosts and registrars would be forced to pass on the fee increases to individual domain registrants.
Mr. Schaetzlein went on to explain, ”Under the terms of the current contract, which is in place until November 2007, VeriSign is required to justify any price-increase, and ICANN has to give its approval. The new wording would be a major step back. Additionally, when VeriSign had its registry license for .net renewed earlier this year, interestingly enough, a major component of their application was a significant lowering of the registration fees.”
Adding to the registrars’ skepticism about the draft contract for the administration of .com is the fact that it is part of the settlement of various legal disputes between VeriSign and ICANN in which VeriSign has agreed to withdraw all charges.
”We think that ICANN wanted to protect itself from possible cost risks and problems with this settlement rather than act in the best interest of both the Internet community and the general public,” Mr. Schaetzlein added.
More than 30 domain registrars worldwide have signed a statement against the draft contract, demanding major changes in the current proposal (which can be viewed at www.icann.org). Additionally, the companies have asked ICANN’s board to comprehensively review the VeriSign settlement proposals and to hold a public hearing period – as has been common practice with other ICANN-related issues – that enables the community of Internet users to state their concerns.
To learn more about 1&1 Internet, please visit: www.1and1.com.