history of the - Fee for Registration of Domain Names
Since March 1, 1993, the National Science Foundation has funded the administration of the "COM", "ORG", "NET", "EDU", and "GOV" and root domains through a Cooperative Agreement with Network Solutions, the InterNIC Registrar.
Beginning not later than October 1, 1995, the Registrar will require direct payment from domain name applicants and holders for registration and maintenance of the domain names at the second level of the five listed top-level domains. The funds received from those fees will replace the funding provided by the National Science Foundation, and will provide "program income" which will offset costs related to the intellectual infrastructure of the Internet.
Originally, the Internet began as a research experiment and network known as the ARPANET, which supported the exchange of files and data among government contractors and researchers. As the TCP/IP suite was developed in the early 1980s, the Domain Name System (DNS) emerged as the replacement system to the original ARPANET hosts.txt mechanism. The high-level structure of names used by DNS eventually evolved into five world-wide generic domains ("COM", "ORG", "NET", "EDU", and "INT"), two U.S. only generic domains ("MIL" and "GOV"), and country code domains (e.g., "US" for the United States, "AU" for Australia, etc.)
The exponential growth of the Internet, due mostly to the connecting of commercial organizations to the Internet over the past couple years, has had a directly proportional affect on the registration activity of the Registrar. The increased activity, with the corresponding growth of operating costs, have resulted in funding requirements exceeding the National Science Foundation's budget. In addition, it is appropriate that Internet users, instead of the U.S. Federal Government, pay the costs of domain name registration services. Accordingly, the Registrar will begin charging a fee for the registration and maintenance of domain names in the "COM", "ORG", "NET", "EDU", and "GOV" domains.
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There are several alternatives available to an organization that wishes to reduce, or possibly completely avoid, the fees outlined herein. A U.S. organization may opt to use the "US" domain, which has a geographically-based naming scheme. (See RFC 1480 for more details) Alternatively, an organization may opt to find an appropriate domain under which they can create a subdomain. For example, company ABC is a subsidiary of company XYZ, whose domain is "XYZ.COM." A subdomain ABC could be created under XYZ, thus creating "ABC.XYZ.COM." In both cases, an organization will avoid the Registration Fees and procedures associated with a domain that the Registrar administers.
1.4 Guidelines, Procedures, and Policies
The guidelines, procedures, and policies that are currently operative with regard to the Domain Name System will not change (RFCs 1031 through 1035, RFC 1480, and RFC 1591).
"Applicant" The party or organization, such as a company or service provider, that is applying for a new domain name.
"Domain" Any root-level domain (i.e. <level2>.<level1> within the "COM", "ORG", "NET", "EDU", and "GOV" root domains. (Note: This does not include domains "COM", "ORG", "NET", "EDU", and "GOV" which exist under a country domain. For example, "COM.AU" is the commercial subdomain in Australia)
"Contact" The person responsible for a particular domain or aspect of a particular domain. There are four types of contacts: administrative, technical, zone, and billing contacts. These contacts are listed in the InterNIC's WHOIS database. Communication with contacts is via the email address that is listed in this database.
"Domain Name" The operational name used by TCP/IP applications that identifies an organization connected to the Internet.
"DNS" The Domain Name System handles mapping from hostnames to Internet addresses.
Configuration information from the InterNIC Registration Services database is released into DNS three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 p.m. EST)
"WHOIS" A database utility that allows queries of domain records which include company, contact, and operational information from the InterNIC Registration Services database.
"New Domain Name" Names that have not yet been entered into the InterNIC Registration Services database, or names that have expired and have been removed from the InterNIC database and made available for reissue to an applicant at a later time.
"Existing Domain Name" Names that are registered within the InterNIC Registration Services database and accessible through WHOIS.
The Registrar will apply two types of charges with respect to domain names. The first is a "Registration Fee" (or initial fee) for new domain names; the other is a "Maintenance Fee" (or recurring fee) for existing domain names that are already registered. These initial and recurring fees for each domain name cover the costs for an unlimited number of update requests, including changes in domain name, for each domain name. The Registrar requires that all applications continue to be sent electronically, and that the payments are made by any of the methods outlined below. Payment must be in U.S. dollars.
(Please note that "IN-ADDR.ARPA" domains are not subject to Registration Fees.)
The Registrar will announce any future price changes by notice on the mailing list "firstname.lastname@example.org."
3.1 New Domain Names
3.1.1 Registration Fee
The Registration Fee for a new domain name is $100.00. New domain names are valid for two years from the date that the Registrar activates the domain name. The Registrar will remove domain names from the database upon the request of the domain name holder; however, the Registration Fee is non-refundable. Domain Names deleted from the database will be available for reuse as described in Section 3.3.
3.1.2 Payment of Fee
The Registrar will activate domain names upon request, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Payment of the Registration Fee is due within 30 days of the activation date, or on the last work day preceeding the due date if the 30th day falls on a weekend or holiday.. The Registrar will delete the domain name from the database on the day after the due date if payment is not received. Domain Names deleted from the database will be available for reuse as described in Section 3.3.
3.2 Existing Domains
3.2.1 Maintenance Fee
For all registered domain names, there will be an Maintenance Fee of $50.00 per year per domain name, due upon the anniversary date of the domain name activation. This annual fee will keep the domain name valid for one year. Payment must be made in advance on an annual basis. The payment is non-refundable.
3.2.2 Payment of Fee
Payment of the Maintenance Fee is due on the anniversary of the activation date, or the last workday preceeding the anniversary date if the anniversary date falls on a weekend or holiday. The Registrar will delete the domain name from the database on the day after the due date if payment is not received. Domain Names deleted from the database will be available for reuse as described in Section 3.3.
3.2.3 Notification of Maintenance Fee Due
The Registrar will provide 60 days advance notice, by email, to the domain name billing contact (or administrative contact, in the absence of a separately identified billing contact), with a copy to the administrative, technical, and zone contacts, that the Maintenance Fee is due on to the anniversary of the activation date. In addition, email notification will also be sent to the address that is advertised via DNS within the Start of Authority (SOA) record.
The Registrar will send reminder notices 30 days and 15 days prior to the activation anniversary date, unless it receives payment. If the Registrar does not receive payment by the due date, it will remove the name from the DNS and notify the contacts that such action is being taken. Domain Names deleted from the database will be available for reuse as described in Section 3.3.
The Registrar will not attempt to notify the contacts by any means other than email. It is the responsibility of the administrative, billing, technical, and zone contacts to keep their records up to date in the InterNIC Registration Services' database.
3.3 Domain Name Deletions
Domain names deleted from the database will become available for reuse after a 60 day "hold" period. The purpose of the 60 day period is to minimize the probability the next holder of that domain name will receive messages intended for the previous holder.
3.4 Special Initial Grace Period
To allow domain name applicants and holders time to prepare for the new billing procedures, the Registrar will grant an initial grace period of 90 days on all domain name registration transactions. All new applications during the three calendar months following the implementation of fees will have 90 days to pay for their domain names. All domain names with annual maintenance fees due during the three calendar months following implementation of fees will have 90 days to pay for their domain names. All new domain name applications received before the implementation date will be exempt from the initial domain name Registration Fee; however, they will be charged the Maintenance Fee on each activation anniversary date.
4. Invoicing and Payment
The Registrar requires that all applications be submitted electronically to "email@example.com", and that the payment be made by any of the methods described in this section. All fees are to be paid in U.S. currency.
Facsimile numbers and U.S. postal addresses are:
FAX: (703) 742-4811 (InterNIC Registration Services)
U. S. Mail:
InterNIC Registration Services
P.O. Box 1656
Herndon, VA 22071
4.1 Special Payment Provisions
4.1.1 "EDU" and "GOV" Domains
The National Science Foundation will pay the fees associated with domain name registrations and maintenance for the academic institutions registered in the "EDU" domain. The National Science Foundation will pay the fees, on an interim basis, associated with domain name registrations and maintenance for the U. S. Federal Government agencies registered in the "GOV" domain.
4.1.2 Internet Service Providers
As an alternative to domain name by domain name billing, the Registrar will allow Internet Service Providers to establish and maintain special accounts against which each registration and maintenance action will be debited. The Registrar will require each Internet Service Provider using this optional payment method to maintain a positive balance in their account. The Registrar will not process domain name applications and renewals if there is an insufficient balance in the respective account.
Except for the provisions described in Section 4.1, the Registrar will batch process and send invoices on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, exclusive of Federal Holidays.
4.3. Checks and Money Orders
All checks and money orders should be made out to "InterNIC Registration Services." For single domain registrations, the applicant must list the domain name on the check. For multiple domain registrations, except in the special cases described in Section 4.1 above, the applicant must list on the payment template the domain names for which payment is being made.
Failure to indicate the domain name(s) associated with the payment will result in a returned check, and possible loss of the domain name. A $25.00 fee will be charged for any returned checks.
4.4 Credit Cards
Except in the special cases described in Section 4.1 above, organizations may pay the Registration and Maintenance Fees by American Express, MasterCard, or VISA. The Card Number, Expiration Date, and Name, as it appears on the card, must be supplied with each charge on the hardcopy InterNIC Registration Services payment form which will be attached to the electronic domain name application acknowledgment. The payment form is also available from the InterNIC Registration Services Help Desk, or electronically at
"ftp://rs.internic.net/templates/paymentform.txt". For security reasons, InterNIC will not accept credit card information submitted by email. For single domain registrations, the applicant must list the domain name on the form. For multiple domain registrations, except in the special cases described in Section 4.1 above, the applicant must indicate on the payment template the domain names for which payment is being made. The Registrar can not process payments unless the domain names are identified, and will return the payment to the domain name holder. Payments returned because of improper submission could result in the loss of the domain name. Credit card payments for domain name applications and renewals may be faxed to the number listed above.
4.5 Submission by U.S. Postal Mail
Checks, money orders, and credit card information may be sent to InterNIC Registration Services by U.S. Postal Mail to the address listed in Section 4 above.
4.6 Future Methods of Payment
The Registrar is considering other payment methods, such as First Virtual and similar electronic means. The Registrar plans to phase their implementation.
4.7 Form of Payment Not Accepted
The Registrar will not accept currency, coin, purchase orders, or stamps as payment. The Registrar will not accept credit card information over the
telephone or send by email.
Because the InterNIC is selling a service from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Registration Fees and Maintenance Fees are exempt from sales tax.
5. Investment of Funds Collected
InterNIC Registration Services will categorize 30 percent of the collected funds as "program income", and will dedicate that program income to offset the costs which are associated with the intellectual infrastructure which underlies the operation of the Internet. Plans for the investments will be an element of the InterNIC Registrar's Annual Report and Project Plan to the National Science Foundation, and will be subject to oversight by an advisory panel consisting of representatives from the InterNIC Registrar, the National Science Foundation, and the Internet community.
6. Suggestions and Complaints
The InterNIC Registrar encourages customers to submit suggestions for improvements of the domain name registration and billing processes. The address for both suggestions and complaints is "firstname.lastname@example.org".