ICANN domain transfer policy takes effect

A dispute-resolution process has also been implemented

A new transfer policy for inter-registrar domain names went into effect today, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Domain name owners will now be able to choose registrars in the same fashion that telephone numbers can be moved between carriers, ICANN said. The idea behind the policy is to allow users to find the services and prices that best suit their needs, increase competition between registrars and drive down costs, it said.

ICANN, the Marina Del Rey, Calif., group that oversees Internet technical matters, originally announced the policy in July, after it had received unanimous approval by both ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization and its board of directors.

The group said it has also moved to provide strong protections against unauthorized transfers of domain names. It now requires registrars to verify the identity of the domain name registrant and use a standardized form of authorization to gain prior consent from that person or group before changes are made.

As part of the policy, ICANN has also implemented a dispute-resolution process to clear up conflicts that may arise between registrars when inter-registrar domain names transfers are requested. And it put in place a Redemption Grace Period Service that provides a 30-day period for domain name holders to reclaim their names if deleted unintentionally from a registry database.

According to ICANN, the new policy will increase competition in the generic top-level domain name market and could drive down costs by as much as 80% simply because of the separation of the registry and registrar functions.

The global nonprofit organization has recently come under fire for raising the fees it charges domain registrars as a way to boost its coffers but has argued it needs the increased money if it is to reform the market structure for the registration of generic top-level domain names.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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