GSA to charge annual fee for dot-gov registry

The General Services Administration is requiring state and local governments and Indian tribes to pay a $125 annual fee to use the ".gov" Internet domain registry, the agency announced late last week.

The fee, now in effect, will cover renewal or registration costs associated with using the Internet domain registry, GSA said.

The .gov domain registry was established in 1997 when the federal government registered an initial block of 100 federal agencies. Last year, the agency decided to open the .gov registry to state and local government and federally recognized Indian tribes.

These nonfederal entities represent about 60 percent of the active 3,400 public entities that rely on the .gov domain registry, GSA said.

GSA officials justified their decision to charge state and local governments and Indian tribes the annual fee on the grounds that citizens who use the .gov Webs sites can rely on their authenticity. To be approved to use the domain registry, government organizations must follow stringent authentication standards, the agency said.

Commercial registries can charge less than the government fee, because they don't have to adhere to the costly, stringent federal authentication standards, and they can sell advertising space and other commercial Web-hosting services to defray the costs, GSA said.

The federal government is prohibited from engaging in commercial activities to defray costs.

For information on the .gov domain registry, contact Daisy Bhagowalia at 703-306-6238 or daisy.bhagowalia@gsa.gov.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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