Domain Name History

Domain Name System (DNS), an Internet protocol and distributed database, provides the mapping between domain address and IP address: domain.domain.com -> x.x.x.x, where x is a byte (0..255). The last portion of a host name, such as .com, is the top-level domain to which the host belongs.

In 1992, Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) was granted an exclusive contract by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be the sole registrar for .com, .net and .org Top Level Domain (TLD) names. NSI also maintained the central database of assigned names called WHOIS.

In 1998-1999, the U.S. Department of Commerce dismantled NSI's monopoly and opened a competitive market for registrations of .com, .net and .org domain names.

Today, many registrars can register and renew existing .com, .net and .org domain names, performing the same functions as NSI.

Internet users everywhere are able to shop for the best service and competitive prices, rather than being limited to dealing with a single, for-profit registry. The old system was ill-prepared to administer the Domain Name System (DNS) when the Internet burgeoned from its infancy as primarily an academic-oriented and research-oriented tool to a powerful medium for business and personal communications. Users grew increasingly frustrated at the delays, mistakes, lack of service and rigid pricing structure they encountered when trying to register new addresses on the Internet through a monopoly.

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Reference sites:

     Internic   |    Public Interest Registry

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