Domain names out of
By Margie Wylie
April 23, 1997, 12:15 p.m. PT
The National Science Foundation will bow out of
assigning domain names no later than March 1998,
the federal agency announced today.
In response to an internal report generated in
February and made public today, acting deputy
director Joseph Bordogna said the NSF will not
renew its InterNIC agreement with Network
Solutions, the private company that assigns global
top-level domains such as ".com" and ".org" under
agreement with the federal agency. Network
Solutions' agreement ends in March 1998.
Instead, the NSF will "focus its attention on the
challenges and opportunities of the next-generation
Internet in support of education in science and
engineering," Bordogna said in a prepared statement
Just what will become of the domain name-assigning
business handled by the InterNIC, however, is
unclear. Though the NSF clearly indicated it will not
continue with the responsibility, it is still working on
a plan to privatize domain naming with oversight
from a more "appropriate agency," long speculated
to be the Federal Communications Commission.
The statement also said that the transition plans
would be made in cooperation with the Clinton
administration, which has assembled an interagency
task force chaired by the Office of Management and
Budget last month, to study the issue.
Bordogna's response to the report mentioned
several two of the three competing plans to privatize
domain name registration. Though he didn't say he
favored one plan over another, the International Ad
Hoc Committee (IAHC) was described glowingly,
Network Solution's recent plan was mentioned
briefly, and the independent Extended Domain
Name Service (eDNS) Coalition was snubbed
Representatives from the White House, Network
Solutions and IAHC were not immediately available
It's about @#$%^&* time.