An Uncertain Future

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-02-11 Print this article Print

Yet the wait-listing service continues to face an uncertain future. Since ICANNs board approved the WLS in March, it has languished. It appears to be heading nowhere fast and to be caught in the middle of a larger disagreement between ICANN and VeriSign over what types of services fall within ICANNs jurisdiction. Last year, VeriSign sued ICANN, challenging ICANNs authority to dictate what types of services it can offer.
What about .net? Click here to read about the challengers taking on VeriSign for the right to manage the popular domain.
Meanwhile, the company that is slated to provide the technical services to run the WLS has gone to court to try to make the service a reality. SnapNames Inc. in November filed a lawsuit in a California state court against ICANN, seeking to compel ICANN to complete the WLS process. SnapNames, of Portland, Ore., resorted to legal action because of ICANNs inaction since its board approved it, said Mason Cole, SnapNames vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "WLS was proposed more than three years ago, and it has gone through debate after debate and review after review and vote after vote," Cole said. "Between March 2004 and now, somebody hasnt been able to find a stamp to send this to the Department of Commerce for review." But ICANN officials say that the holdup lies in getting VeriSign to agree to an amendment to the WLS before it can go to the Department of Commerce. The federal Commerce Department must review and approve agreements between VeriSign and ICANN. "Our board approved it and were quite willing to amend our agreement to allow VeriSign to implement WLS," Jeffrey said. "At the end of the day, its really an issue between SnapNames and VeriSign." VeriSign, of Mountain View, Calif., maintains that the responsibility for moving the WLS forward remains with ICANN. "The WLS is currently before ICANN and the balls in their court," Galvin said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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