US domain name costs rise as Australian regs loosen

The US domain name registry VeriSign has announced an increase to the cost of domain names sold on its behalf by smaller registrars.

The price rise comes into effect on October 1 and will affect popular addresses that end in ‘.com’ and ‘.net’.

The increases are in accordance with a negotiated pricing scheme with the quasi-government body, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in the US.

  • Dot com’ wholesale prices will increase 7% to $US6.86 ($7.50) per domain name and
  • Dot net’ wholesale prices will go up 10% to $US4.23 ($4.63).

Brendan Lewis, Executive Director of the Churchill Club innovation forum, doesn’t expect the announced increases will have a big effect on local Australian business as most local domain names are registered as ’dot au’. He says the retail end of the internet hosting business is highly competitive and many domain names are offered free of charge in a package.

Lewis says there are other changes to domain name registration in Australia coming that will have a bigger impact. Within months the Australian Domain Name Administrator (AUDA) will loosen restrictions governing the sale of domain names that draw legitimate advertising or hold distinct value.

“Come June, Australians will be able to sell domain names on market for a nice profit, rather than through the back door,” Lewis said.

‘Domain parking’ as it is known is now seen as a legitimate business because it provides a service in advertising sites and information relevant to the actual address. For example Progolfer.com lists a series of links for equipment, lessons and courses. Such domain registrations often involve picking the right wording and anticipating demand.

The AUDA now views ‘parking’ as distinct from the frowned upon ‘cyber squatting’ activity. ‘Squatting’ is the main reason for the existing restrictions as opportunists were misappropriating brand names in order to make money – often by misspelling well known trademarks.

If the rest of world is an indication, the trading of domain names will be a brisk money spinner. The domain name industry website DNJournal in the US reported the best selling addresses for just last week.

Position

Domain

Selling Price (USD)

1.

Systematic.com

$400,000

2.

DVDs.com

$300,000

3.

GarageSales.com

$110,000

4.

Skinny.com

$80,000

5.

Exam.com

$75,000

6.

Hoax.com

$70,000

7.

Tickets.mobi

$60,000

8.

Autograph.com

$55,000

9.

Baseball.net

$52,500

10.

GreeceHotels.com

$48, 397

Source: DN Journal

Australians seeking further information on the regulation and pricing of domain names should visit the AUDA website.

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