I received the following material from my Internet provider.
Apparently, domain names will now require a fee to be paid.
Another "privatization" move with which we have become all too
Beth Gaston EMBARGOED FOR 6 A.M. EST
(703) 306-1070 September 14, 1995
firstname.lastname@example.org NSF PR 95-61
InterNIC Business Manager
THE INTERNET GROWS UP:
DOMAIN NAME SERVICES NO LONGER
SUBSIDIZED BY TAXPAYERS
As interest in the Internet rises beyond belief, the demand for
domain names has gone beyond the National Science Foundation's ability
to continue completely funding the service. Network Solutions, based
in Herndon Virginia, provides registration services for the
non-military portion of the Internet under its cooperative agreement
with the NSF.
Domain names are Internet "addresses" -- and the registration
process creates a database which maps the names to the numbers used
for Internet routing. When Network Solutions began operation in
spring of 1993, new domains were being registered at a rate of 400 per
month. In October 1994, this number reached 2,000 per month and it is
estimated that by the end of the year, the figure will top 20,000 per
month. This incredible demand has created up to a five week delay in
registering new domain names.
While the NSFNET, an Internet precursor, was created to serve the
research and academic community, currently less than three percent of
domain names are higher educational (.edu) or government (.gov) --
most are commercial users (.com).
Effective September 14 , an annual fee of $50 will be charged for
the registration of second level domain name in each of the top level
domains maintained by Network Solutions (.edu, .gov, .com, .net,
.org). (Examples of second-level domains include: nsf.gov,
netsol.com, mit.edu, aol.com.) New registrants will pay a $100 fee
for a two-year registration; and thereafter will pay $50 per year.
Organizations registered prior to September 14 will be charged the $50
annual fee on the anniversary of their initial registration. The fees
will be charged ONLY to second-level domain name registrants in the
five top level domains for which the InterNIC provides registration
These fees do not affect the typical end-user who now subscribes
through a commercial service such as CompuServe, Prodigy and America
Online nor will they impact campus or business users who access a
local network from their desktop, dormatory or home. (Military
addresses, identified by .mil, will continue to be handled by a
separate registration authority supported by the Department of
Consistent with its responsibility to support networking in the
academic research community, the National Science Foundation will
continue to defray the costs of registration in the .edu domain. NSF
will also pay the fees for current .gov registrants on an interim
basis to allow government agencies time to identify an alternate
source of funding.
"This system represents NSF's continued efforts to privatize the
commercial aspects of the ever-growing Internet, while still providing
oversight and supporting the research and academic community," said
George Strawn, director of the division of networking and
communications research and infrastructure. "It also addresses a
pressing need as NSF funding for domain name services expires October
Funding obtained through the collection of fees represents
another step in the move to make the Internet self-supporting and less
reliant on tax dollars for support. In April, the NSF decommissioned
the NSFNET and instituted a new architecture provided by commercial
Information about the fees has been posted on the Internet at URL
(Uniform Resource Locator): http//rs.internic.net/announcements/index.html.
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