GSA seeks comments on .gov

Agency proposes to start charging for domain registrations and may extend .gov to other levels

Government Domain Registration and Services Web site

The General Services Administration is looking for public comment on plans to extend the .gov domain to non-federal entities such as state and local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes.

In a proposed rule in the Federal Register May 16, GSA also said is it considering charging a one-time fee for new registrations, which will range from $250 to $1,000, depending on the level of assistance provided by GSA, and a recurring annual charge in the range of $100 to $500 for all .gov domains.

Currently, GSA does not charge for registration but is allowed to start charging at any time. The fees are "based on anticipated costs for operating the registration service and are consistent with industry charges," GSA said in its notice.

GSA has managed the .gov and .fed.us top-level domains since 1997. Last month it announced that it also accepts .gov registrations for native sovereign nations.

Indian tribes interested in the .gov domain must first apply to the Interior Department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. The process includes making a letter application, a tribal resolution, or submitting minutes of the meeting giving authority to the person making the written request. Tribes also can apply online at www.gov-registration.gov.

The end result for an entity acquiring a domain name would look like "www.tribesname-nsn.gov," where nsn stands for "native sovereign nation." The department hopes the move will enable e-government among Indian tribes.

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