NTIA may reconsider .us registration policies


Ahead of the Aug. 31 end of Neustar's 6 year contract to manage the .us web domain, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration says it wants comments on the policies behind the domain's management.

According to a Jan. 31 notice of inquiry in the Federal Register, there currently exist 1,786,738 second-level domains within the United States' country code top-level domain. The .us suffix has gained little online traction, having a market share within the United States smaller than .info, according to data from The Agriculture Department favors, but most, if not all, other federal agencies use a .gov or .mil domain. Deletions of second-level domains have generally trended upward during the past 12 months, according to Neustar statistics.

The NTIA requires registrants have a connection--a "U.S. nexus"--with America, such as a bona fide presence or residence. Current policy also prohibits private registration, requiring registrant contact info to be listed in the WHOIS database.

A 2002 law, the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act, also mandated creation of the second-level domain of with the intention of having subdomains populated by easily findable content for children. That too flopped, with the NTIA suspending it on July 27, 2012 with the explanation that "today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of sites containing high quality content aimed at children under the age of 13."

The notice of inquiry says the NTIA welcomes comments on whether any of the .us requirements "are still relevant."

Neustar has held the .us management contract since 2001, winning a second term as registrar in 2007. Comments in response to the inquiry are due by March 4.

For more:
- go to the NTIA notice of inquiry on .us registration policy

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