Network Solutions promises to speed ISP domain registration
What are the guarantees for participating ISPs?
Boston (March 12, 1997) -- Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) yesterday announced a program designed to speed the registration process for Internet service providers (ISP) and their customers.
NSI provides Internet name registration in the .com, .org, .net, .edu and .gov domains and for Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Under the new program, dubbed the Premier Domain Registration Service, NSI guarantees that new U.S. registrations and changes to existing registrations will be processed within one business day. International registrations will be processed within two business days, and ISPs will have access to around-the-clock account services, according to Christopher Clough, director of communications and policy for NSI.
Currently, 90 percent of registrations are processed within 24 hours, but the new program will bump that number to 100 percent by giving participating ISPs direct access to NSI's Domain Registration Service server on which they can enter their information, Clough said.
The Premier Domain Registration Service is open to ISPs who meet undisclosed volume requirements. So far, participants include CompuServe Inc., MCI Communications Corp., Earthlink Network Inc., TIAC, and SuperNet Inc., Clough said.
NSI decided to initiate the program because of the tremendous number of registration requests it was receiving. Eighteen months ago there were 120,000 domain names, and this week that number passed the one million mark, Clough said. In addition, up to one-quarter of those registered with NSI make changes to their accounts each month, from change of address to change of billing information, Clough said.
"Dealing with this huge volume has been a continuous challenge for Network Solutions," Clough said.
NSI registers domain names under an agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation that expires in March 1998. What will happen then has yet to be determined.
Clough was forthright about NSI's interest in maintaining its position as top level domain distributor. "There's been multimillion dollar investments in the infrastructures, policies, procedure, and personnel" at Network Solutions, including going from 30 people in 1993 to 150 today, Clough said.
However, some have criticized NSI's policies and near-monopoly on top level domain names, such as .com or .org. Alternatives accordingly have sprung up, including .per, .biz and .arts.
But one company, which offers registration under the alternative .web domain name, said that it has no objection to NSI and only wants to join them on the competitive playing field.
"We're 100 percent in favor of NSI running .com and .org," said Chris Ambler, president of Image Online Design Inc. of San Luis Obispo, CA. "The best way to make this entire competition work" is to have multiple players and let the consumer decide, he said.
--Rebecca Sykes, IDG News Service, Boston Bureau
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