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Price controls

  • To: biz-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Price controls
  • From: John Aldrich <Dungeon@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 15:36:18 -0400

I believe that lifting price controls on domain names is a BAD thing. Why? I 
believe that there is little incentive fore the registrars to keep prices 
down and every incentive for them to increase domain prices. This is a 
business situation, after all. However, that would be a bad thing for the 
average "mom and pop" trying to do business on the internet. Not everyone can 
afford a potential increase in registration fees to hundreds of dollars per 
domain name.

Of course, big businesses can afford that. This would lead to an even worse 
situation of "have and have-nots" than already exists. What will happen to 
non-profit groups who would likely have to spend much of their annual budget 
to just renew their domain name under a plan with no price-caps on the 
registration fees? Will they be able to get their message out on the 
internet? 

The Internet is supposed to be the great leveler of the playing field -- to 
make it possible for anyone to get their message out to the world, however, 
if the domain registration fee charges are unlimited, how will it be 
possible? Also, who determines what a "fair market value" is for a given 
domain name? Who's to say that a registrar won't charge an exhorbitant amount 
for a domain associated with an organization who's philosophy the registrar 
disagrees with, or charge a very small registration fee to an organization 
who's philosophy they support?

For example, what happens if, say, the "Log Cabin Republicans" want to set up 
a website, but the registar in question disagrees with their philosophy and 
tells them that the fee will be $100,000.00? Then along comes the mainstream 
Republican party and the same registrar says the registration fee will be $5. 
As I read the proposal, there is nothing to prevent that from happening. 

Sure, it can be argued that "market forces" will take care of that, but if 
there is only one organization, such as Network Solutions, who controls the 
top-level domains, then there is little chance of any "market forces" 
affecting the price.

I urge you to reconsider the lifting of price caps on the domain name 
registrations!
        John Aldrich
        Dalton, Georgia
        dungeon@xxxxxxxxxxx


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