InterNIC

Stands for "Internet Network Information Center."

InterNIC was an organization created in 1993 to provide domain name registration and IP address allocation services. It was a joint effort by Network Solutions and AT&T, with Network Solutions providing domain name registration services and AT&T providing directory and database services. In 1998, InterNIC and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) were reorganized to come under the control of a new non-profit entity, the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Before the establishment of InterNIC, Network Solutions operated the first domain name service (DNS) registry under contract with the United States Department of Defense and SRI International. This partnership assigned Network Solutions the responsibility of giving out domain names for the early ".com," ".net," ".org," ".edu," ".gov," and ".mil" top-level domains. However, as the Internet became more popular worldwide among businesses, schools, and other non-military organizations, the responsibility for its administration was shifted to the private sector.

In 1993, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created InterNIC in partnership with Network Solutions and AT&T to manage the DNS registry and distribute domain names to non-military organizations. This move made Network Solutions the first private domain name registrar. In 1998, the NSF reorganized InterNIC to combine it and its responsibilities with the IANA under a new organization, ICANN. After the merger, InterNIC continued to provide WHOIS services for several years before ICANN assumed those responsibilities as well.

Updated January 18, 2023 by Brian P.

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