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CYBERCULTURE | Heard on the Beat

Masters of Their Domain

July 20, 1998|KAREN KAPLAN

While policymakers and Netizens continue to debate the best way to phase out Network Solutions' monopoly for registering domain names, the Internet Council of Registrars is forging ahead with its own plan to introduce competition.

The Council of Registrars, also known as Core, said it is reviewing applications from companies that want to make money by registering new domain names once Network Solutions' exclusive contract expires this fall. Core, formed last year through an international agreement signed by several leading Internet organizations, is already processing more than 40 applications from companies around the world.

Core originally planned to limit the number of registrars worldwide to closely monitor the use of trademarked names in the Internet domain name system. But the group was persuaded to change its policy after critics said a small number of registrars wouldn't produce enough competition.

"The application process will be ongoing, without deadlines, because we need to provide people all over the world with greater choice in both Internet addresses and registration services," Ken Stubbs, chairman of Core's executive committee, said last week. Applications are at CORE's Web site, http://www.corenic.org/join_core/appform.htm.

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