US Report: Private backers campaign to fund new Net naming body

Officials from MCI and IBM will today announce a corporate funding initiative for a nonprofit organisation that will soon take over the allocation of Internet domain names.
Written by Maria Seminerio, Contributor

The funding campaign is the latest initiative from the year and a half-old Global Internet Project, a working group of corporate executives (including MCI and IBM officials) who aim to promote Internet use across the globe.

The group plans to set up a fund that will allow corporations to help provide money toward the cost of running the nonprofit organisation which is set to take over domain name allocation duties next month from Network Solutions Inc. The company now runs the system under a contract from the National Science Foundation. Some of the funding will come from IBM and MCI although exact details are being withheld until a press conference scheduled for later today. MCI's Vint Cerf, senior vice president of Internet architecture and engineering, and IBM's vice president of Internet technology, John Patrick, are scheduled to take part in the press conference.

Network Solutions won its contract from the NSF to be the sole provider of domain name registration services in 1992, and the contract runs out Sept. 30. Details about who will run the nonprofit and how it will be organised have still not been released, in spite of the fact that Clinton administration officials have said they hope at least an interim system will be in place by the end of the month.

White House technology policy adviser Ira Magaziner told reporters at an Internet Society meeting in Geneva at the end of July that he was optimistic the government would meet the Sept. 30 deadline for ending its control, with Network Solutions, of the domain name allocation system.

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