VeriSign Likely to Keep .net Registry

VeriSign received the highest marks in an evaluation of the firms competing to maintain the .net top-level domain (TLD), and appears likely to keep the lucrative registry deal for another six years. The report by Telcordia is influential in the decision on the future of .net, and ICANN indicated it would "promptly enter negotiations with the top-ranked applicant."

The report (PDF) ranked VeriSign slightly ahead of Sentan, followed by Afilias, Denic and CORE++. ICANN will now enter into negotiations with VeriSign, which currently maintains the .com and .net registries. If a deal can't be reached, ICANN would then presumably turn to Sentan, a joint venture between Japan Registry Services and NeuLevel (which maintains the .biz registry). Telcordia's analysis said Sentan is a viable alternative to VeriSign, which in theory should motivate VeriSign to quickly conclude a deal with ICANN. The new registry agreement will take effect July 1.

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Registrar Converts Domain ‘Parking Lot’ Into Ad Revenue

Dotster is running keyword advertising on tens of thousands of .info domains it recently registered, creating an instant advertising platform that generates revenue for both Dotster and Google. The strategy marks a shift in registrars' efforts to leverage the huge numbers of customer domains "parked" on their servers, which have traditionally been used to market registrars' in-house offerings.

Dotster is converting these parked domains into revenue from text ads served by Google's AdSense for Domains program. The model doesn't always work perfectly, however, as seen at, which displays ads for two Dotster competitors, and Go Daddy.


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Panix Hijack Prompts ICANN Review of Resellers’ Role

The January hijacking of has prompted ICANN to review whether domain registrars can outsource security checks designed to protect domain owners.

In its findings on the hijacking, ICANN said it is "very concerned" that Australian registrar Melbourne IT relied upon a reseller to confirm the transfer request, and will "review the appropriateness of these arrangements." Panix was never contacted, and thousands of customers of the New York ISP lost service for an entire weekend when was transferred to an Arizona woman using a free Yahoo email account. Tim Cole, ICANN's chief registrar liaison, called the incident "one of the more serious breaches of its policies by an accredited registrar."

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New domain names can't get much cheaper, but the secondary market continues to see big-ticket sales. was bought for $700,000 Monday by search engine services firm Interchange Corp., which operates the ePilot pay-per-click advertising network.

Pricing was stable in the market for first-time domain registrations, with no major price movements among the largest hosting companies and registrars. Netfirms has the current lowest price for a one-year .com at $4.95. Yahoo once again extended its $4.98 a year "limited time offer" as it launched a new Small Business Resource Center.

Retail Domain Name Prices, March 2005
Company One-year
.com price
&nbspPrimary Business&nbsp Primary Region
Netfirms $4.95 Shared Hosting America
Yahoo $4.98 Shared Hosting America
1&1 Internet AG $5.99 Mixed Hosting Europe
EV1Servers $6.49 Dedicated Hosting America
Hostway $6.95 Shared Hosting America
Stargate $6.95 Shared Hosting America
Interland $7.95 Mixed Hosting America $7.95 Mixed Hosting America
AIT Domains $7.99 Mixed Hosting America
Go Daddy Inc $8.95 Domain Registrar America
RegisterFly $9.99 Domain Registrar America
Netcetera $13.41 Mixed Hosting Europe
Dotster $14.95 Domain Registrar America
FastHosts/UKReg $16.65 Mixed Hosting Europe
Pipex/123Reg $17.22 Mixed Hosting Europe
Network Solutions $34.99 Domain Registrar America $35.00 Domain Registrar America
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