Network Solutions offers 100-year domain name registrations

* Network Solutions wants to serve you for the next 100 years

Network Solutions is betting that the Internet will be around into the next century, with a new offering that allows companies to register domain names for 100 years.

Companies can purchase the 100-year registration service to protect important .com or .net names from accidentally expiring, as happened recently to "The Washington Post."

"The Washington Post" in February inadvertently failed to renew its washpost.com address, which caused its e-mail system to be disrupted for hours.

Network Solutions is targeting this offering towards IT executives at large corporations who are tasked with managing a portfolio of domain names for their companies and their flagship brands.

"There's not going to be a lot of people that want this service," Network Solutions CEO Champ Mitchell admits. "This is for large corporate buyers - people who have names that they put a high value on. Marlboro is worth a lot. GE is worth a lot."

Until now, the longest-term domain name registration available was for 10 years.

So far, Network Solutions has sold 30 of the 100-year registrations, which cost $9.99 per year.

IT executives "want peace of mind knowing that not one of their high-value domain names will disappear because somebody forgot to update an e-mail address on the registration. That's what happened with washpost.com," Mitchell says.

I found myself chuckling over this new service, given that so few American companies or brands make it to centagenarian status. Philip Morris, General Electric, AT&T are the exceptions to the rule. How many 100-year old companies can you think of? And how many companies that do survive a century end up keeping the same name?

There's a certain amount of chutzpah on the part of Network Solutions to assume that it will be around in the year 2104 to administer the names it's selling today. After all, Network Solutions is 25 years old, and it's on its fourth owner having been a division of both VeriSign and Science Applications International in the past.

Even funnier is the thought that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will last that long. ICANN, the quasi-governmental organization that oversees domain name registrations, is only five years old and is in a constant state of flux.

What do you think about Network Solutions 100-year registration service: Helpful or hypeful? Send me an e-mail, and I'll share your thoughts.

Learn more about this topic

Network Solutions' press release about its new service

IETF to lead anti-spam crusade

Network World, 04/12/04

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