Fifteen more companies from around the world have been approved to compete as registrars for the .com, .net and .org Internet domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced last week.
The 15 companies will be accredited when ongoing tests of the new Internet address system have been completed, which is scheduled for July 16. The new companies join the five accredited registrars that are carrying out the tests and another 37 companies that ICANN will accredit when the tests are finished.
Nine of the companies named are from the US, two are from the Middle East, and four are from Europe.
Until competition was introduced last month, registration for the three most popular top-level domains was handled exclusively by US-based Network Solutions (NSI), under a 1992 contract with the US Government. Register.com of the US, one of the five test-bed registrars, became the first company to compete with NSI.
The new system is being introduced in part to provide more global representation among the companies that manage one of the Internet's most important resources -- Internet addresses.
ICANN is a non-profit group formed in September 1998 to sort out who will manage a set of Internet management functions currently handled by the US Government and its contractors. Specifically, ICANN is responsible for coordinating the assignment of protocol parameters, the management of the domain name system, the allocation of IP address space, and the management of the root server system.