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Reston Nonprofit Leads Pack in Quest for Control of '.org'

August 21, 2002

The Reston-based Internet Society has become the prohibitive favorite to win the contract to operate the global ".org" Internet domain, the online home to many nonprofit groups. 

If successful in its bid, the Internet Society, or Isoc, would take over management of the Internet's fifth-largest domain in December under a recommendation made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. 

ICANN operates the Internet's global domain-name system under an agreement with the U.S. government. 

"We're really pleased that they showed such confidence in our ability . . . to run the .org registry," Isoc spokeswoman Julie Williams said. 

Isoc, founded in 1991, has members in more than 100 countries and serves as the institutional home for two key Internet standards bodies, the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Architecture Board. 

VeriSign Inc., the current operator of the .org registry, is giving up its management of the domain at the end of the year as part of a deal it struck with ICANN last year to cement its control of the valuable ".com" domain. 

Accounting for more than 2.3 million Internet addresses worldwide, .org would be a substantial source of revenue for the group that wins the registry. VeriSign charges $6 per year for every .org name it sells to Net address retailers. The retailers, in turn, charge varying prices to individuals. Last month, Williams said Isoc planned to keep the annual wholesale cost of a .org name at or below $6. 

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