VeriSign Raising Prices for .com and .net

VeriSign, the company which manages the popular .com and .net top-level domains, has announced that it will raise prices for registering and renewing in the .com and .net spaces beginning October 15, 2007. Wholesale prices for .com domains will go up 10 percent to $6.42, while wholesale prices for .net domains will go up 10 percent to $3.85. In all probability, these increases will be passed along to domain owners directly by their registrars.

Under an agreement reached with ICANN a little over a year ago, VeriSign is permitted to increase wholesale fees for the .com and .net top-level domains in four of the agreements’ six years. This increase marks the first time VeriSign has raised wholesale fees for the domains since 1999. Some estimates put the potential value of VeriSign’s fee-raising capability as high as $3 billion; the just-announced increases seem to be worth about $30 million a year to the company.

VeriSign says it will use the money to pump up its infrastructure to keep up with the Internet’s continued growth. As part of the company’s $100 million Project Titan, VeriSign plans to increase the number of DNS quaries if can handle per day from 400 billion to over 4 trillion; DNS response capacity is important as the Internet continues to grow, and DNS root servers (which translate Internet host names to IP numbers) are increasingly targeted by denial-of-service attacks designed to overwhelm their capability and, thus, grand Internet service to a halt. Verisign also plans to increase its network capacity to over 200 Gbps and reducing latency. By 2010, the company also plans to set up more than 80 additional Regional Internet Resolution sites in locations like India, Chile, South Africa, and Germany, aiding in DNS response worldwide.

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