IS NETWORK SOLUTIONS TRYING TO STEAL THE INTERNET AGAIN?
by Michael F. Mann,
NSI has announced their intention to keep all domain names that expire for themselves - and they intend to put the names up for auction exclusively on their own web site.
According to our data over 300,000 domains at NSI expire EVERY MONTH. Currently you can search for and register previously expired domains from our homepage www.buydomains.com. They can also be registered via any other registration service. If NSI has their way this segment of market competition will cease.
NSI plans to hoard millions of domains every year, preventing any other registration service in the world from registering those names to their customers and keeping all the money for themselves. The loss of value to the marketplace (if the names are valued at $70 each) is in the range of $154 Million dollars each year. On auction potentially even more. NSI currently controls over 12 million domains the majority were registered to consumers while NSI was a legally sanctioned monopoly. The original contracts did not require the registrants to renew and therefore an expired domain should be released to the general pool of available domains where anyone can register it via any registration service.
Not only does the hoarding of names smell bad but it is a violation of ICANN (the government approved domain regulating body) rules and may be a violation of US antitrust laws. Remember all of these names that are expiring were registered through NSI during the years they had a government sanctioned monopoly. This monopoly was supposed to be stopped. But with this hoarding practice and the practice of charging $199 for so called "expedited" transfer of names (registered during the monopoly years) NSI's monopoly power is alive and well - despite competition existing in certain market segments.
Our data shows NSI's hoarding practice has started in force eventhough their auction service has not launched. For example the names below (along with hundreds of thousands more) should be available to the general marketplace. A domain lookup (which again can be done at www.buydomains.com or other registration sites) shows this small sampling of names have expired some time ago, yet are not available to the public because NSI has decided to keep them.
centralcontrol.com (ironic eh?)
You should take action to protect your rights as a domain consumer by contacting the people and organizations that are tasked with monitoring the domain system for the public good. Let them know loud and clear what you think about NSI's practices.
The main oversight committee is ICANN which the US government has
entrusted to police Internet domain registrars.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
The Department of Commerce's NTIA division also plays a very active role in domain policy.
J. Beckwith (Becky) Burr
Office of International Affairs
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Federal Trade Commission
Michael Donohue - Bureau of Consumer Protection staff attorney --
Members of the congressional committee that presided over the theoriginal attempt to break the monopoly.
The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr.
Chairman The House Committee on Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection Chairman
W.J. \"Billy\" Tauzin
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Don't forget to call your own congresspeople and request action.
You can write your Representative through the following address