VeriSign formally has been awarded the contract to run the master database for .net domain names for another six years.
This is no surprise: We reported it back in March. But Thursday's announcement by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) makes it official.
A detailed walk-through of the selection process is available in a new report from ICANN. But it reads like bureaucratic boilerplate (probably designed to insulate ICANN from any possible lawsuit from the losing companies) and the bottom line is that VeriSign scored the best on a checklist of capabilities such as security and reliability.
Other contenders were DENIC, a Frankfurt-based nonprofit that handles Germany's .de domain names; NeuLevel, which oversees .us and .biz domains; Afilias, which runs .info; and Core++, a global consortium of domain registrars, registry operators, and telecommunications and networking companies.
If ICANN hadn't made the formal announcement, the Internet would have been in an unusual limbo after June 30, which is when VeriSign's current agreement to run .net runs out. VeriSign also runs the .com registry.