The biggest expansion of Internet addresses is being delayed as VeriSign Inc. (VRSN), which gets most of its revenue from managing .com websites, argues with competitors over whether corporate networks could be disrupted.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the non-profit that manages the Web, has proposed holding on to new names to the right of the dot, known as domains, for up to 10 months after listening to security warnings from VeriSign and its own advisory panel.
Some companies that bid for domains such as .blog, .mail and .corp say the security issues are a ruse by VeriSign to protect its management of 121 million .com and .net addresses.
“This is an odd thing, at the eleventh hour and 59th minute of a 10-year program, to suddenly say, ‘Stuff’s going to break,’” said Richard Tindal, chief operating officer of Web-registry Donuts Inc., which applied for 307 domain names.
“They’ve made a corporate decision to try to limit competition by trying either to slow down or stop this program,” said Tindal, whose closely held company is based in Bellevue, Washington.
Icann’s proposed Web expansion, which has been in progress for 13 years, could add more than 1,300 new so-called domains to an Internet with about two dozen today. A domain name can spawn millions of website addresses, which are sold and managed by companies including VeriSign. more