Verisign Sets Fee For Expired Domain Names
by James Middleton
Move will boost revenue in face of dwindling registrations
Top level domain name registrar VeriSign, formerly Network Solutions, is planning to create a fee-based waiting list for deleted and expired domain names.
The move will allow people to pay to be first in line to grab an expired domain name when it comes up for registration again.
A statement released on Friday confirmed that VeriSign has licensed SnapNames' Parallel Registry technology to develop the domain name Wait Listing Service.
"The service would allow parties to be next in line to register a domain name once it is deleted from the registry," said VeriSign. "Current wait listing services, implemented at the registrar level, must compete for a domain name when it becomes available."
It is thought that VeriSign will use the subscription list to boost revenue at a time when new domain registrations are dwindling.
But in the past the company has been accused of using Networks Solutions' monopoly position to hoard expired domain names until such a scheme came along.
The registration of new domain names has dropped by almost half in the last year.
The company plans to roll out the waiting list at the end of March but must first seek approval from regulatory body the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
VeriSign also said that the cost attached to the waiting list may act as a deterrent to cyber squatters and bulk domain buyers and resellers.
"This is a positive move for our industry: one that will ensure an equal access, first come first served, and reasonably priced service that would be available to every registrant, regardless of sophistication," said SnapNames' chairman and chief executive Ron Wiener.
"For years people have been waiting for a way to be next in line for domain names. Wait Listing Service will finally and directly meet this need," he added.