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InterNIC FAQs on the .org Transition

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The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the transition of the operation of the .org registry to Public Interest Registry:

What is ".org"?

.org is one of the seven original "generic" Top Level Domains. It is currently the Internet's fifth-largest TLD, with over two million registrations worldwide. .org was originally intended as a "miscellaneous" TLD for organizations that weren't commercial entities, educational institutions, network providers, or governmental agencies. In recent years registration in .org has become open and unrestricted (it will stay that way under its new operator.)

What is the .org "registry"?

The .org "registry" is the authoritative, master database of all domain names registered in .org. The registry operator keeps the master database and also generates the "zone file" which allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from .org domains anywhere in the world. Internet users don't interact directly with the registry operator; users can register names in .org (and other TLDs) by using an ICANN-Accredited Registrar. For additional general information about domain names, registrars, and registration, please click here.

What is "the .org transition"?

On 1 January 2003, responsibility for operation of the .org top-level domain registry shifted from VeriSign Global Registry Services to Public Interest Registry. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, all parties have agreed to a 25-day phase-in period during which back-end services will continue to be provided by VeriSign. On 25 January 2003, back-end technical services for the .org registry were cutover from VeriSign to Afilias.

How will the .org transition affect Internet users?

The transition should be almost entirely transparent to Internet users. Web and e-mail addresses ending in .org will continue to resolve normally.

What do registrants of .org domain names have to do to prepare for the .org transition?

Nothing. All .org domain name registrations will remain active during and after the transition to PIR. Registrants will continue to have the same relationship with their current registrar. PIR will not assess any fees on registrants or registrars in relation to the transition.

What is "Public Interest Registry"?

Public Interest Registry (PIR) is a not-for-profit corporation created by the Internet Society (ISOC) to manage the .org registry. ISOC a professional membership society with more than 150 organization and 11,000 individual members in over 182 countries. It provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet, and is the organization home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Although ISOC appoints PIR's board of directors, PIR and ISOC are fully separate entities.

Why is PIR taking over .org?

VeriSign's contract to operate the .org registry expired on 31 December 2002. The overall purpose of changing operators of the .org registry is to enhance the diversity of providers in the provision of registry services. This purpose is being accomplished in a way that preserves the security and stability of the domain-name system. ICANN (the global non-profit private corporation responsible for coordinating the Internet's domain name system) selected the successor operator through an open request for proposals process. PIR was selected from among eleven competing proposals judged on criteria including: the need to preserve a stable, well-functioning .org registry, enhancement of competition for registration services; responsiveness to the noncommercial Internet user community; and the type, quality, and cost of the registry services proposed. For more details on the selection process, please visit the .org Reassignment section of ICANN's website.

Where can I find more information about the .org transition?

PIR's website can be found at PIR maintains a detailed set of FAQs about .org and the .org transition at <>.


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This page last updated 02-Sep-2016