Extension will add six years to existing agreement.
ICANN has published a proposed extension to its contract with Verisign (NYSE:VRSN) for .com.
While the existing contract doesn’t expire until 2018, the parties are extending the agreement so that its end date matches that of the new Root Zone Management Agreement. The Root Zone Management Agreement (RZMA) is necessary due to the planned removal of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration role in the IANA contract.
The extension runs through 2024.
Verisign CEO Jim Bidzos explained on a conference call earlier this year that the company expected the RZMA to be for ten years, and thus the .com agreement would be extended to match that. Instead, the RZMA is for eight years, triggering a six-year extension of the .com contract (which was due to renew in 2018).
Practically speaking, this extension doesn’t change much. Verisign still has a presumptive right of renewal in the contract. The extension also doesn’t affect .com pricing. Pricing is handled in a different part of the cooperative agreement with the U.S. government.