What ISP's can do is stop registering trash domains. Tell your users to put
their WWW pages in a domain park of some kind, rather than allocating a TLD
for every one-person "company" whose scope of operations is a local city or

How do you educate the mom-and-pop ISPs and businesses? If I do this
now, they just walk two blocks away to the other guys, who will register
them. Changing the paradigm probably won't be possible until either
a technical issue of the impact of prefix-filtering and address allocation
restrictions forces the issue, or the namespace looks like alphabet soup
like you mention, and becomes almost a non-differentiated mass.

The Madison Avenue gang won't like a heirarchical product branding scheme,
which is probably how they look at domain names now.

Domain name charges are currently based on cost recovery; i.e., at $50/year
it pays for the cost of collection and the cost of talking to "customers" and
the cost of buying and running whois and dns servers, with some money left
over for "public domain software for internet infrastructure" (which I'm hoping
means ISC since we'll be out of money for BIND,INN,DHCP,K5 at the end of 1996).
[Sorry, into every message must come a shameless plug.]

In an actual free market, the consume price floats between the value received
and the competitive minimum profit margin. If domain name charges were based
on how much folks were willing to pay, which in turn means how much the domain
is worth to them, I suspect they would be much much higher than $50/year. IBM
or HP or DEC or Apple would cheerfully pay $10K/year for their second level
domain, and speaking briefly as a capitalist I think that's what it ought to
cost. Anyone who can't pay probably doesn't need a second level domain and
they ought to band together with their buddies to form a domain park and share
the second level charges.

The reason we're having this problem is partly due to US-GOV subsidies, partly
due to the "it's always been free" culture, and partly due to the differential
between the apparent costs (servers, linkes, people to answer phones, etc) and
the transparent costs (every new domain pollutes the pool, thus dragging down
the actual value of all other domains).

I'm more or less blathering here. There's no way IANA would try to move to a
value-based pricing scheme and once YMBK's proposal becomes pseudolaw, there
will be enough TLD registries that the price will hover just above cost
recovery _anyway_, due to competitive pressures from other registries.

What I am personally hoping is that the various new TLD's will try different
subdomain schemas and that the ones who are most successful financially will
be the ones whose end-user domain names are "prettiest" and that we will
therefore never see another flat namespace like *.COM. In fact I hope to see
people leaving *.COM in droves once prettier/deeper TLD's are available from
multiple competing name providers.

<URL:> is my position in full

I'd like to, but you've disappeared from all the NAPs! [...]

Never send a host to do a router's job. (All better now.)