Tech Talk: ICANN Renews .net Contract with Verisign Despite Public Objections

ICANN Renews .net Contract with Verisign Despite Public Objections

In a bold move that stirred controversy, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently announced the renewal of the contract extension with Verisign for managing the .net registry. The contract, which was set to expire soon, has now been extended until June 30, 2029.

The Price Hike and the Objections

Under the renewed agreement, ICANN gains the authority to impose a 10% annual increase on wholesale prices, a decision that has not been well-received by the public. Many individuals and organizations have expressed their concerns, pointing out that this move might have significant implications for website owners and users alike. The current wholesale price stands at $9.92, and the new arrangement grants Verisign the liberty to hike the prices up to $19.31 by the end of the six-year term.

A Contentious History

This is not the first time the .net registry contract has caused a stir. Back in 2005, ICANN initially put the contract out to bid, which resulted in a considerable drop in the wholesale fee, plummeting from $6.00 to $3.50. However, if history repeats itself, it’s highly likely that the bidding process would only yield offers of a few dollars per year, or possibly even less. This prospect has left many wondering if the current deal was the best course of action.

The Verisign Perspective

Verisign, the technology company behind the management of the .net registry, has expressed enthusiasm about the contract extension. They believe that the renewal affirms their commitment to providing a stable and secure environment for .net domain holders and users. Additionally, the price increase is deemed necessary to support ongoing enhancements to the registry infrastructure and security measures, which, in turn, benefits all users in the long run.

Concerns for Website Owners

Website owners, on the other hand, are now facing the prospect of higher operating costs, as the burden of increased wholesale prices might be passed down to them. With profit margins already tight for many businesses, this additional financial burden could lead to tough decisions and potential price increases for services or products offered online.

The Future of Domain Management

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, domain management remains a crucial aspect of ensuring a stable and accessible internet for all users. ICANN’s decision to extend the .net registry contract has sparked debates about the organization’s role in safeguarding the interests of internet users while also balancing the needs of domain management companies.

A Call for Transparency

Critics of the contract extension argue that ICANN should prioritize transparency in its decision-making processes, particularly when it comes to price adjustments that can have far-reaching effects on the online community. They insist on greater involvement from stakeholders and the public, ensuring that the voices of those who rely on the internet for various purposes are adequately heard and considered.


The ICANN-Verisign contract extension marks a significant moment in the internet’s history, with implications that will resonate for years to come. While ICANN believes this move will support the growth and stability of the .net registry, dissenting voices raise important questions about the potential impact on website owners and the need for more transparent decision-making. As the online world continues to evolve, striking a balance between fair pricing and domain management becomes an essential task to sustain a thriving and accessible internet for everyone. 

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