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U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley Announces Agreements on Domain Name Management

September 28, 1999
News Media Contact
Commerce Department

Washington - Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today announced that the Department of Commerce, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) have reached a series of agreements that will allow transition of the domain name system to the private sector to move forward.

Taken together, the five agreements resolve the outstanding differences between the parties that have been under discussion for nearly a year. The Department of Commerce and NSI have endorsed the agreements. The ICANN Board has also endorsed the agreements subject to its consideration of public comments received over the next thirty days. The agreements involving ICANN will come before the ICANN Board of Directors for final approval at its November board meeting in Los Angeles.

"This is a landmark day for the Internet," Secretary Daley said. "Last year I called on the private sector to create a global, private-sector organization to manage the domain name system. There was no precedent for this undertaking, and there have naturally been a few bumps in the road. The agreements announced today put ICANN and private sector management of key Internet functions on a firm foundation."

The agreements include: (1) a Registry Agreement between ICANN and NSI, (2) a revised Registrar Accreditation Agreement between ICANN and all registrars in .com, .net and .org, (3) a revised post-testbed Registrar License and Agreement between NSI as registry and registrars, (4) an amendment to the Cooperative Agreement between the Department of Commerce and NSI, and (5) an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Commerce and ICANN.

President Clinton, on July 1, 1997, as part of the Administration's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize management of the Internet name and address system in a manner that increases competition and facilitates global participation while preserving the stability of the Internet. The Department of Commerce issued a White Paper, on June 5, 1998, that called on the private sector to establish a not-for-profit corporation to manage certain aspects of the domain name system. In October of 1998, NSI agreed to develop the Shared Registration System, which allows multiple licensed accredited registrars to provide domain name registration services in the .com, .net, and .org domains. The Department of Commerce recognized ICANN as the new, not-for-profit corporation to manage the domain name system on November 25, 1998.

The agreements will be posted for comment on the ICANN webpage They will also be made available on the NTIA webpage ( and the NSI webpage (
Fact Sheet

Department of Commerce, ICANN and Network Solutions Agreements