Shared Registry System

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SRS is the abbreviation for Shared Registry System. It came into existence in October, 1998 when the United Sates Department of Commerce (DOC) and Network Solutions amended their co-operative agreement, originally stating that Network Solutions was the sole registrar and registry administrator for top-level domains such as .net, .org, .com, etc. The amendment establishment a Shared Registry System, meaning that an unlimited number of registrars may compete in the domain name registration business by using one shared registry.[1] It was a cooperative effort between Network Solutions and the U.S. Government to introduce stiff competition in the arena of the registration of second-level domain (SLDs) in the .net, .com, and .org TLDs.[2]


The US Department of Commerce appointed ICANN to look after the transition to SRS. The main responsibilities of ICANN included formulating and implementing a procedure for the sake of registrar accreditation, in a way that would create a competitive domain name registration system, ensuring continued domain name durability and Internet stability.

In March 1999, ICANN started accepting applications from companies who were interested in participating as one of five domain name registrars in SRS Testbed Program, which was prescribed in Amendment 11 of the DOC’s cooperative agreement with Network Solutions.

Starting in April 1999, ICANN was in charge of accepting the applications for registrar accreditation for the post-testbed period of the SRS. It accredited more than 160 businesses along with the five testbed program participants.

From 2001 to 2009, ICANN adopted the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) for all accredited registrars. In May 2009, the ICANN Board approved a total 17 amendments to the RAA. This agreement continues to be a hotly debated and edited agreement at nearly every ICANN meeting.[3]

Problems in the Allocation of SRS

In 2001, there were reports about some registrars experiencing difficulties in evaluating the .com, .net, .org SRS in the hours wherein expiring names are deleted. After an investigation, it was found that substantial amounts of the bandwidth were being used in the wee hours by some registries, causing a large amount of queries to expire. ICANN took note of this matter and began keeping the community informed about its search a remedy. The solutions was the equitable allocation of the Shared Registry System, wherein every ICANN-accredited registrar was limited to use 256K of bandwidth and 250 simultaneous RRP connections.[4]