Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
A little while ago the NZ domain name registry Domainz
sent out notification that its prices were going to increase early next year.
This produced a rash of "how can they justify this?" emails to Aardvark and
I have to admit that it looks like another case of a monopoly trying to
squeeze extra cash out of a captive audience.
However, when I spoke with Domainz head Derek Locke, he explained that
this wasn't the case at all.
It seems that the price increases are timed to coincide with the introduction
of the planned new shared registry system (SRS).
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If I understand things correctly, this system is designed to introduce some fairness and parity within the
domain name retailing industry by effectively splitting the central registry
away from the existing Domainz retail operation.
In order to avoid any charges that Domainz might be undercutting its resellers,
it's putting its advertised retail prices up to what will no doubt become the
Locke says however, that individual resellers will be free to offer lower
prices -- and he fully expects most to do so.
It's hoped that the new SRS will encourage greater levels of competition
at a retail level, and that this will see the "street price" for domain
name registration fall -- possibly to even less than the current
official Domainz price.
Is this the way things will really turn out?
I don't know -- and one thing's for sure, if overseas experience is anything
to go by (anyone remember ING?) there are some real ratbags trying to spin
a dollar out of domain names. Fortunately we've had very few Kiwi resellers
engaging in this type of scamming and slamming, let's hope that increased
competition won't see it start here.
I suspect many of us are still wondering exactly why we have to pay so much
more for a .nz name than we do for a dot-com.
If you don't need any hand-holding or technical support, you can still pick
up a dot-com name for around $25 per year -- about half the price of your
local .nz name. Why is this?
Another issue raised by a couple of readers is the issue of renewal periods.
Why are we seemingly limited to a maximum renewal period of just 12 months?
Given the hassles that surround accidentally letting your domain name registration
lapse, surely it might be a good idea to allow five, or even 10 year renewals?
With another armed conflict in the Middle East looking increasingly likely,
I'm wondering just how long it will be before we see webcams fitted to
US military vehicles.
Come to think of it -- we already do don't we?
The amount of carefully edited footage that comes out of the US DOD spin-machine
during such conflicts is quite significant and much of it finds its way onto
As I mentioned in a previous column, it's just a shame that Saddam won't
have a chance to put his side of the spin using the Net.
Still, I'd like to see some live online video from the nose of all those
cruise missiles and attack helicopters. Gosh, I'd even be willing to pay
a subscription for that.
If you want to have your say on the contents
of today's column then please do so.
Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the
readers' comments section.
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