[arin-ppml] Analogies

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Apr 30 01:37:28 EDT 2011

When Network Solutions took over from SRI InterNIC, one of the
first things that happened was Network Solutions said "Guess
what domain holders... You'll be paying us $50/year for your
domains from now on."

All this discussion about alternate TLDs (which were NOT
functionally equivalent at the time) and alternate roots really
is hogwash. If you wanted to be meaningfully present on the
real internet such that your name was recognized by people,
you needed a {.com,.org,.net,.edu,.mil,.gov} domain. Of
those, .mil and .gov were not available to mere mortals,
.edu was kept free, but, suddenly required you to be a
four year post-secondary institution (at least in theory).
To get a domain (or keep an existing domain) in .com,
.org, or .net, you had to pay your $50/year to NetSol
whether you liked it or not.

Where this differs from IP addresses is that NetSol had the ability
to turn off the NS records and disconnect your zone from the
world at their will (and often did). ARIN doesn't have that ability
to turn off someone's addresses (at least not as certainly as
NetSol could turn off DNS).


On Apr 29, 2011, at 11:29 AM, David Conrad wrote:

> John,
> On Apr 29, 2011, at 10:05 AM, John Curran wrote:
>>> When NSF allowed Netsol to charge, there were 200+ or TLDs in the root zone, e.g., ".US" (which was free, albeit had other restrictions).  
>> But if you had an existing domain (for example, in .com), did you
>> unilaterally had to agree and start paying?  (I'm asking here for 
>> sake clarity, as I don't recall precisely how this all happened)
> To be honest, I don't recall. I remember having to pay for new registrations, but that's different. I don't remember when/how the transition occurred from 'free' to 'contract+fee' for existing registrations.  Perhaps it didn't happen until the registry/registrar split?
>> Do you know how many registered domains were in .COM and .NET at the time?
> Nope.  MarkK might be a good resource to answer that question.
> Regards,
> -drc
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