Friday, March 03, 2006

Vinton G. Cerf votes for VeriSign to monopolize .COM domains and increase fees

Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Vinton G. Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. This week he is also known as the main supporter for VeriSign's monopoly on .COM.

In one bold move, Cerf and 8 others voted to give VeriSign the right to increase domain name fees to 7 percent in four of the next six years. Here is my message to Vinton G. Cerf:


The most recent agreement that you and other ICANN members gave VeriSign potentially gives them higher profits at the cost of all Internet .com users. Already, they are making hundreds of millions of dollars from other domain resellers. Costs to run server farms are going down, especially with faster chips and costs for memory dropping. Even labor costs for VeriSign has dramatically dropped over the past years, as they have transitioned a lot of their personnel into third-party offshore locations.

So it begs the question -- why would you allow VeriSign to increase fees at the burdens of Internet users?

-Don Sausa

Vint's reply to my email:

Please see icann web site for responses and statements on this settlement. Also note that it is not clear whether to price increases will be passed to users or not. Many registrars charge far in excess of the registry fee. They did not lower prices for .net when its fee dropped below six dollars.

I'm not sure why Cerf thinks it is not "clear" that prices will increase for consumers. I know he is smarter than that. I suspect VeriSign's lobbying had a profound effect on the 9 board members, enough to where judgement has been definitely clouded on this matter.

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