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OpenNIC is a "free" (IIUC, beer and otherwise) alternative and competitor to ICANN. They administer some alternate top level domains which can usually be registered at no cost.

However, at the current time, anyone that [wants to | is willing] to use an OpenNIC domain name should also obtain a more standard domain name as the OpenNIC domain names work only if either:

  • an individual user (web surfer) has added a nameserver to his computer that includes the OpenNIC domains, or
  • the nameserver he uses (from his ISP) includes the OpenNIC domains, and it appears that not too many ISPs do so at this time.

(Sometime in the future, I or the OpenNIC group may start a list of ISPs whose nameservers do include the OpenNIC domains -- see below.)

I will do what I can to support OpenNIC (more below).

BTW, NIC (in this context) stands for Network Information Center.

I got some (very prompt and) useful feedback from Robin of OpenNIC after writing to him -- I've made a first attempt at updating this page appropriately based on his feedback.




Open NIC is trying to establish a set of alternate top level domains not under the control of, for example, ICANN.

Unfortunately, very few ISPs currently include OpenNIC domain names in their DNS servers. Options:

  • ask my ISP to add the OpenNIC domain names to their DNS servers
  • configure my PCs (or intranet) to use a nameserver that includes the OpenNIC domains instead of or in addition to my ISP's nameservers. (IIUC, Windows allows you to "declare" three DNSs, Linux allows two (??) (I suspect Linux actually allows more, but I've never tried to set up more) ("never" is a short time in this case)

Although I don't like ICANN and their policies and actions, and want to support OpenNIC, it doesn't seem like the right time to choose an OpenNIC domain name only. (Note that even OpenNIC maintains an ICANN based domain name in addition to their OpenNIC domain name -- I will do the same -- it won't cost me anything extra and it's a step in the right direction -- I wonder if it will cause any problems with statistics collection on TWiki?)

OpenNIC was established about 2 1/2 years ago (writing 24 Jan 2003) with this Kuro5hin article.

As I write this, the OpenNIC FAQ is not available (on either scoop.opennic.glue or scoop.opennic.unrated.net).

My Position

I support OpenNIC (on the assumption that they are not trying to monetize the TLD namespace) and want to see them succeed. If I can reasonably do so, I will:

  • set WikiLearn up with both an ICANN and an OpenNIC based domain name
  • ask my ISP, web hosting provider, and domain name registrar (3 entities) to include the right stuff so that everybody that uses their nameservers can find both ICANN and OpenNIC based web sites

ISPs That Support OpenNIC

  • one somewhere in California
  • one somewhere in New Zealand
  • ???


  • () RandyKramer - 20 Jan 2003
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

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Topic revision: r3 - 2003-05-11 - RandyKramer
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