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Tucows Opens Up Domain Registration

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Seb Potter

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User since: 22 Apr 1999

Articles written: 19

Tucows, the international network of freeware and shareware distribution sites, has recently announced the November 15th launch of a service that they call OpenSRS, or Shared Registration System.

What's interesting about Tucows' foray into the domain registration business is that they plan to open domain registration to anybody that wants to register domains for third parties. Using Tucows' backend and API, non-ICAAN-affiliated third parties can write client applications to directly register domain names in the NSI domain registry. Tucows will be leveraging a "wholesale" fee of only USD 13 for each registration.

This approach opens up competition in the domain registration market in a way that has previously only been speculated at, and has only been recently made possible by the drop in price of a domain name (for ICAAN affiliates) to USD 6. By positioning itself as an ICAAN acredited reseller of domains, Tucows stands to reap enormous benefits from resellers seeking the best prices to pass on to customers. It is highly probable that customers may now be able to buy domain names from as little as USD 20-25.

However, given the registration problems that other ICAAN-accredited organisations have had with Network Solutions, it remains to be seen whether Tucows will, initially, be able to offer a competitive service in comparison with other domain registrars who have already overcome their teething problems. If Tucows can offer a relatively stable service, we may be seeing the beginning of a new era in competition amoungst domain registration services.

Seb is a Jedi Master in the art of creating sites and keeping servers running. This often means hitting them repeatedly with forces that defy rational explanation, though he prefers to descibe it as "administration". When he's not practising his percussive skills on E450s and AS400s, he can be found masquerading as the senior developer for some widely varied clients. It's still not certain whether or not the meanings of CMS, CRM, and B2B have penetrated the alcoholic fog enveloping his brain, but he makes convincing noises to customers about XML, XSLT, Python, J2EE, PHP, Perl, C++, and OpenGL.

Seb has been in the web game pretty much since it began, and still has fond memories of the time when a web could be swept aside with a duster and spam was pork luncheon meat. Despite being the developer of one of the first commerce sites in Europe, he has yet to make any real money.

Being English, Seb doesn't like SOAP, but instead has recently discovered something called ZOPE. Zope is a platform that runs Plone which he thinks is the coolest thing since high-performance, real-time 3D APIs, which he often writes small games in.

Seb lives in the best little city in the world, and used to commute 5 hours a day on British trains. He is subsequently immune to all forms of torture techniques.

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