What are domain
  InterNIC and NSI
  Conflict Resolution


  US Green Paper


  About the group

In 1992, the National Science Foundation (NSF) solicited bids from companies to handle directory management, database services, and domain name registration. Three companies jointly won the contract to handle these responsibilities. AT&T oversees the directory and database of Internet sites. Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI), a company headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, manages the domain name registration process. The third company, General Atomics, directed the Information Services Project until the NSF decided to take over those responsibilities in 1995. AT&T, Network Solutions, and agencies of the National Science Foundation currently form InterNIC.

What is Network Solutions' role in "registering" sites?

When Network Solutions won the contract from the NSF to register domain names in 1992, it became the global registrar for top level domain names effective January 1993. Every site with a domain name ending in .com, .net, .org, .gov or .edu is registered through Network Solutions. The number of top level domain names along with corresponding IP addresses has grown to over 1.5 million in that time. Since 1995, Network Solutions has charged a base fee of $100 for two years of domain name registration and $50 per year afterwards.

What is the U.S. Domain Registry?

Besides the top level domain names such as .com, .edu, and .org, most nations also have national registries for sites ending with their two letter country code. The country code for the United States is .us, and is man aged by the US Domain Registry at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. Each country's domain is registered with the InterNIC as a top level domain by its two letter country code. The U.S. Domain registers businesses, individuals, government agencies, state government agencies, K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries, museums, and city government agencies. The U.S. Domain Registry assigns domains based upon state boundaries using the two letter state postal code in the address.

What are first-level, second-level, and third-level domain names?

The term first-level, or top-level, domain name refers to the .com or .org ending. The ending alphanumeric combination after the period is the first level. Then moving to the left of the last period, the next set of alphanumeric characters is the second level of the domain name. To the left of the second-level name, the next characters make up the third-level domain name.

For example, in the domain name, "edu" is the first level, "stanford" is the second level, and "www" is the third level.