March 3rd, 2005

.net domain name “tax”


Was scanning through some of my old comments and thought this conversation with Mark Mueller is interesting enough to be reposted.


Would be interesting to hear your view on ICANN’s intention to charge a per domain fee of $1 in the “.net” space? I believe they will not only start charging in the “.net” space, but also from new sTLDs. With all what is going on, it seems to me as the IAB (together with the IETF) will be next by charging a fee for each ENUM domain in “”. I don’t know who pays RIPE NCC’s expenses these days, but as we know we do not live in a “for-free” world… ;-)



I think it is inevitable that some part of the money collected will flow back to ICANN – be it a per domain name fee or something else.

For example, With a total expenses nearly 9M, ICANN must somehow have enough revenue. As indicated in the previous budget, it was proposed that the registries & registrars to pick up 8M of the tag but where does it comes ultimately comes from?With 5.3M zone under .NET, and a potential payoff of 30M/yr, no doubt market economics will pay a lot of .NET, even to the extend of giving ICANN $1/name, bear in mind 5.3M zone means the cost of operation is only about $0.30/name.

Thus, the question is not whether they will or not, but how it is done which gives the greatest accountability at the same time does not make ICANN seem to be imposing some sort of domain name tax. And of cos, we must insist on accountability.

As to your ENUM comment wrt to IAB/IETF, I dont think there is any basis for your guess. I don’t see it happening for a variety of reasons (1) IAB/IETF are mostly volunteers (2) IETF & IAB don’t even legally exists (3) none of the CC who have ENUM delegation (myself included) will agree to pay a fee for ENUM, etc etc.

And I am sure RIPE-NCC pays itself fine from its membership for IP address if APNIC is an example to go by. I doubt they (RIRs) care or want to get into the politics of domain names.

Comments are closed.