Network Solutions Causes Fracas with New Domain Policy

The torches and pitchforks came out Friday with the announcement of a new domain registration policy at Network Solutions that has garnered allegations of engaging in the very act it claims to prevent.

Front running — registering domain names based on information like search listings in order to re-sell it at a higher price — is big business on the internet, and a major pain for customers. Network Solutions unveiled their plan to combat the practice on Friday — all domain names searched for but not immediately registered by the customer will be registered by Network Solutions and held for four days. Why four days? Because that's the grace period ICANN mandates for allowing customers to get their money back, meaning Network Solutions gets to hold domains hostage for free.

Critics have seemingly come out of the woodwork to attack the practice, noting that Network solution's prices are anywhere from three to five times that of their competition, meaning that customers will be forced to pay Network Solution's premium if they want their domains. How the practice will play out for the company — which has lost considerable share in the domain registration market over the past several years — remains to be seen.

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