VeriSign to resurrect Network Solutions

Global Internet services company VeriSign Inc. plans to announce today that it will open a Herndon subsidiary to handle its domain name retailing business.

The subsidiary, Network Solutions Inc., has the same name as the company that VeriSign bought in June 2000 to become the world's largest seller of Internet addresses.

"Network Solutions needs to be a separate and independent entity because it is truly different than the rest of VeriSign," said W.G. Champion "Champ" Mitchell, who will be president of the wholly owned subsidiary. VeriSign, of Mountain View, Calif., is a major provider of Internet security and telephony products.

The domain name retailing unit, or "registrar," is the only VeriSign business that caters to a mass audience, including individuals and small businesses, Mitchell said. VeriSign's main clients include tens of thousands of corporate customers, whereas Network Solutions "offers Web presence services to millions of customers," he said.

Mitchell would not speculate on the future of Network Solutions, but noted the recent creation of VeriSign's Herndon office as evidence of the subsidiary's commitment to running a successful operation. That office is to house about 650 Network Solutions employees and some of VeriSign's East Coast employees.

VeriSign stopped using the Network Solutions name for its addressing operation in the summer of 2001, Mitchell said. But in a 2002 survey of Internet address buyers, VeriSign found that 87 percent of them were familiar with the name "Network Solutions" and could identify it as a domain name seller, while few recognized the name "VeriSign," Mitchell said.

In addition to owning one of the world's largest Internet registrars, VeriSign controls the sole registry of names ending in .com and .net. As the registry operator, VeriSign collects $6 per name for each address registered in .com or .net, regardless of which registrar sells the address.

News source: The Washington Post

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