ICANN’s Board of Directors has voted to approve the Verisign – ICANN agreement.
The controversial agreement will give Verisign control of the .com registry through at least 2012. It also includes provisions for dramatic price increases for the wholesale price of domain names. According to ICANN:
These settlement documents include a new registry agreement relating to the operation of the .COM registry. The new .COM registry agreement will now proceed to the U.S. Department of Commerce for final approval, and the entire settlement is dependent upon this approval before it is finalized. USDOC approval is required due to the unique history of the .COM generic top-level domain and it is the only gTLD which requires such approval. If approved, this settlement will clear the way for a new and productive relationship between ICANN and VeriSign facilitating ICANN’s stewardship and technical coordination of the Internet’s domain name system.
It’s possible that the agreement won’t go forward due to several lawsuits filed to prevent the deal. Domain Name Wire’s 2006 survey shows that only 25% of domain owners approve of the proposed deal.
This has been an eventful week in the domain name community. In addition to the decision by the ICANN board, China announced its own domain name system which went live today.
ICANN chairman Vint Cerf — who voted in favor of the Verisign settlement — will be a keynote speaker at the 2006 Domain Roundtable. You can be assured that sparks will fly at this event! The timing of the event couldn’t have been better given all of the late-breaking issues in the domain name industry. To learn more about the event and how you can save $400 on admission click here.