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As At August 28 1998



When it was first mooted that ISOCNZ might take over the management of .nz from Waikato University, the then Council had no idea what this move would entail or the explosion which would occur in the registration of domain names.

It was, in fact, in this spirit of ignorance that the Council indicated to members of the Society that while, in the initial stages, it would continue to use Waikato University for the physical operation of the DNS it would move towards making that operational area contestable as soon as possible.

Subsequent Operation

The initial stages of DNS management were stressful, to say the least, and it wasn't until the Society appointed Patrick O'Brien as DNS Manager that we began to get a handle on the problems and address the main issues.Subsequent legal advice was to form a limited company to operate the business of DNS registration.This was done and Patrick O'Brien was appointed CEO.


As Domainz gradually mastered the various stages of the operation it became clear that separation of critical functions was not only highly costly but also a high risk to the company and to the proper operation of the DNS.As a result of this growing awareness Domainz has been working hard to harmonise functions such as DNS database, billing and maintenance.At this point in time all billing is being done from the Domainz office and the company has been so successful in this area that Domainz has, arguably, the lowest level of DNS debtors of any registry in the world.In addition, Domainz has been able to reduce operational costs to the stage where it is seriously looking at price reductions before the end of 1998.

This has all been achieved in spite of an initial very high level of operating cost per domain name registered, zero capital investment in the business, no level of debt at any stage of the operation and the need to set up a complex technology-reliant business with an accompanying high level of customer service requirement.

All this has not been achieved without human cost.Patrick and his staff have worked enormous hours through the various stages needed to put the business on a sound footing and both the Internet Society of New Zealand and the Internet community owe them a debt of gratitude.

Much has been learned in the ensuing period.One of the main lessons has been the need to closely integrate the various functions of the DNS management itself and Council are resolved that these functions will continue to be operated under the umbrella of Domainz.

Contestable Functions

This is not to say, however, that there are not areas of DNS management and operation which will always be operated by Domainz.At this point in time it is intended that at some stage in the hopefully near future Primary and Secondary server operation will be tendered out to suitable organisations.This will include the operation of highly secure sites, able to withstand a significant level of natural disaster and with a high degree of redundancy in systems and telecommunications.Once the central systems have been automated as much as possible the company will be looking for organisations able to offer the desired facilities.

In terms of registration and reservation of domain names, Domainz already has a large number of agents handling the former and has stood aside from the latter to enable the private sector to carry out this work.This approach is working well, both for Domainz and for the Internet community, and there is no current intention to change it.

© 1998 The Internet Society of New Zealand
Last updated 27 August 1998

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DNS Operational Tendering Issue

DNS Operational Tendering Issue