ICANN Decides to Eliminate Price Cap on .org Sites, Despite Opposition.

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An image of a website being designed on a computer. ICANN is in charge of all top-level domains, such as .com or .org.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has removed the price cap on .org websites. Though more than 98% of the comments were against removing the cap, the proposal passed. Public Interest Registry, the non-profit that administers that domain, was under the previous ICANN contract from 2013. That contract, with the price cap, ensured that small non-profit entities were insulated from major price changes.

While the cap remained in place, .org registration was capped at $8.25 per year, with a cap on price increases of 10%. Now that the cap is gone, there’s no assurance that the price will remain low. While Public Interest Registry has no current plans to increase the price they charge, they have no impetus not to. They also have no competition.

Some non-profits were already paying more than the cap for registration, as their registrar had chosen to charge a little extra for their time. If the actual domain price goes up, the percentage the registrars ask for will likely go up in proportion. This could put the squeeze on smaller non-profits, who often have shoestring budgets.

Why was it done?

ICANN made these changes in an attempt to standardize the contracts they have with domain registries. In other words, they wanted to treat .org the same as any other generic top-level domain. Critics say that .org has never been the same as other domains. The .org domain designation is older than ICANN itself, dating from the infancy of the web.

The .org domain was originally reserved strictly for non-profits, but that rule has been relaxed over the years. These days, the domain is most commonly used by non-profit organizations, schools, and open-source projects. It’s also used by more traditional corporations, but that is still rare. ICANN no longer enforces limits on who can use it.

The biggest thing that experts are worried about with this change has nothing to do with .org sites, however. Pointing to the .com domain, experts are expressing concern that Verisign, who administer that gTLD, will demand their price cap be removed as well. Under the current contract, .com domains were capped at $7.85 until last year.

What does this mean for my and my domain?

If all the changes have you worried about your own domain, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you find the best prices and most stable platform to ensure that your website is in good shape. Your website is your online front door. Make sure it shows you at your best.


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