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Neustar and Afilias Jump on the No-Tasting Bandwagon

John Levine

In a message posted to the ICANN GNSO list, Avri Doria forwarded along a most interesting document from Neustar, who runs the .biz domain.

Currently, registrars get full credit for all domains deleted during the Add Grace Period (AGP). Neustar proposes to change their registrar agreement so that each registrar will only get credit for deletions of 10% of their new domains, with a few minor exceptions for tiny registrars and bulk registrations due to one-time mistakes. They say they expect Afilias to propose the same change for .info. This is a nice plan that should prevent tasting in those domains with no bad effects on normal registars. Unlike ICANN's 20 cent fee change, which isn't likely to have any effect until their next budget year, Neustar's plan is to have this ready for ICANN board approval in under two months and implementation shortly thereafter.

According to the reports at www.icann.org/tlds/monthly-reports, neither .biz nor .info currently appears to have much tasting going on, which isn't all that surprising since users rarely type an address in either of those domains into their browser address bars. As of October, the most recent published reports, in .biz, the tastiest regstrar appears to be Spot Domains LLC with 11694 total domains, net adds of -328 (that is, they deleted more than they added), and 21509 AGP deletions, which accounts for about half of all AGP deletions. In .info, they had 44082 total domains, about 600 net adds, and 69952 AGP deletes, again about half of all AGP deletes.

By comparison, legit registrar Tucows in .biz had 144,000 total domains, about 4500 net adds, and only 98 AGP deletes. That's about 2%, nowhere near the 10% limit.

Now all but one of the large domain registries have taken action to end tasting abuse. Where is Verisign?

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker
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Related topics: DNS, ICANN, Registry Services, New TLDs
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