VeriSign Wins Renewal of .Net Control

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-06-10 Print this article Print

ICANN gives VeriSign the go-ahead to manage the popular Internet domain for another six years.

Following about six months of competitive bidding, VeriSign this week officially retained control of .net, the Internets third-largest domain. ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the oversight body for the Internets domain-name system, announced Wednesday that it will enter into a new, six-year contract with VeriSign Inc. for the operation of .net. VeriSign, whose current contract to run .net expires at the end of the month, had been the front-runner to run .net since March, when an independent evaluation of the five bidders for the domain ranked VeriSign as the top choice.
For the first time since its inception, .net was opened this year to competitive bidding among registries. Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign gained control of .net in 2000 when it acquired Network Solutions Inc., and Network Solutions had run the domain since 1992.
In January, VeriSign and four other companies submitted bids for the management of .net. Along with .net, VeriSign is the registry for .com, the Internets most popular domain. As a registry, VeriSign manages the main database of Web addresses in the domains and works with the so-called registrars, who sell registrations for particular domain names to individuals and businesses. Also this week, VeriSign issued its latest quarterly domain-name report and found that the number of registrations continued to increase at a record pace. Click here to read more about new domain-name registrations reaching an earlier high point. In the first quarter of the year, about 6.7 million new domain names were registered worldwide, representing a 36 percent increase from the same period a year earlier and a 4 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2004, VeriSign said. In total, there were 76.9 million domain names registered at the end of the first quarter of 2005. VeriSign credited the domain-name growth to a strengthening economy, a continued increase in Internet users and the growing number of Web sites registering domains for use in pay-per-click advertising programs. 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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