November 01, 2018 — NTIA and Verisign have agreed to extend and modify the Cooperative Agreement. These modifications are in line with policy priorities of the Trump Administration. The changes create a new commitment to content neutrality in the Domain Name System (DNS), provide market-based pricing flexibility, and reduce the regulatory burden on Verisign.
Amendment 35 confirms that Verisign will operate the .com registry in a content neutral manner with a commitment to participate in ICANN processes. To that end, NTIA looks forward to working with Verisign and other ICANN stakeholders in the coming year on trusted notifier programs to provide transparency and accountability in the .com top level domain.
The amendment repeals Obama-era price controls and provides Verisign the pricing flexibility to change its .com Registry Agreement with ICANN to increase wholesale .com prices. Specifically, the flexibility permits Verisign to pursue with ICANN an up to 7 percent increase in the prices for .com domain names, in each of the last four years of the six-year term of the .com Registry Agreement. The changes also affirm that Verisign may not vertically integrate or operate as a registrar in the .com top level domain.