PIR Takes Over .Org Domain

Transition period begins for transferring more than 2.5M domain names from VeriSign.
Posted January 3, 2003

Roy Mark

The Public Interest Registry (PIR) assumed control Jan. 1 of the .org top-level domain registry from VeriSign Global Registry Services to begin the largest transfer of data from one registry to another in the history of the Internet. In April of last year, the ICANN Board of Directors selected PIR, the not-for-profit subsidiary of the Internet Society (ISOC)of Reston, Va., to operate the registry.

VeriSign relinquished administration of the .org domain to comply with an agreement they entered into with ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce in May 2001.

PIR and VeriSign are planning a 25-day transition period to give ICANN-accredited registrars time to adapt to the new system. PIR has also subcontracted with Afilias, the operator of the .info top level domain launched last year, to provide back end services.

.Org is the Internet's fifth largest top level domain housing over 2.6 million domain names worldwide. PIR says it will introduce new services designed to meet the "unique needs of non-commercial organizations" including name locking, site linking, a directory, and ID certification.

In addition, PIR will establish a .Org Advisory Council to be made up of non-commercial community leaders.

"We are pleased to begin the transition process," said David Maher, chairman of the PIR board. "We have put together a solid transition team and are working together toward a smooth, stable transition resulting in no interruption of service for .ORG registrants."

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