Public Interest Registry asks for proposals to run its backend registry.
Public Interest Registry, the non-profit that runs the .Org top level domain name, just put out a request for proposal for its backend registry provider.
Afilias currently runs the registry operations for .org, and has since .org was transitioned from Verisign to Public Interest Registry in 2003.
The company is richly compensated for managing the registry. According to Public Interest Registry’s 2013 tax return, Afilias was paid $32 million that year for providing services for .org.
.Org ended 2015 with 10.5 million names under management, so that comes out to about $3.00 per domain managed.
A competitive bid process will certainly result in much lower bids, although any bidder will have to convince Public Interest Registry that a transition away from Afilias will be seamless.
Update: Afilias released a statement this morning, saying, in part: “We have been expecting an RFP since our last contract was signed, and we look forward to demonstrating that Afilias’ products and services, wide-ranging strategic support, innovations, and security continue to be the best option for PIR.”