Statement of pgMedia, Inc. d/b/a

Before the Subcommittee on Basic Research

Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives

September 30, 1997 - Hearing Regarding Internet Domain Names

pgMedia, Inc., d/b/a ("PGM"), is the sole plaintiff in an action pending in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York (Patterson, J.), styled pgMedia, Inc. v. Network Solutions, Inc. and National Science Foundation (97 Civ. 1946 (RPP). In that action, PGM alleges that Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI"), has violated both Section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, as well as provisions of New York State law. As alleged in that action, NSI refused to allow PGM access to the Root Zone file which enables universal resolvability of domain names, and thus prevented PGM's entry into the commercial domain name registration market in which NSI holds a monopoly position.

While PGM had hoped it would be given the opportunity to present its views on the very important issues considered by the Subcommittee, it nevertheless reiterates the position it has consistently taken since prior to commencing the above action. The National Science Foundation ("NSF"), and thus this Committee, possesses no authority of any kind to preclude PGM's entry into the Domain Name Registration Market. Even if there were any such authority, the NSF's attempt to prevent the access PGM seeks has violated the First Amendment rights of PGM and its end-users to unrestricted freedom of expression which may only be achieved in an unlimited and openly shared top level namespace. Furthermore, the real issues which the Subcommittee has not heard are substantial and far more troubling. For example, NSF's recent statements, which led to its joinder in the above action, to the effect that no change could be made to the Domain Name System, were made solely to protect and shield NSI's monopoly position, while at the same time enabling NSI to effectuate the Initial Public Offering which it concluded on Friday, September 26, 1997. In that offering, NSI and its parent, SAIC, received $58.4 million by leveraging the very resources which our government created with taxpayers' dollars.

In the end, however, PGM had hoped to present to the Subcommittee a summary of the initiatives it has already taken and the software it has already tested and implemented, which would allow immediate and complete sharing by competing registries of each and every TLD, including .com, .net, and .org. A short summary of that initiative is attached hereto for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,
pgMedia, Inc. d/b/a
Paul Garrin, President