The role of resellers in the domain business came under scrutiny earlier this year after a domain hijacking disrupted service for thousands of customers of Panix, a New York ISP. Australian registrar Melbourne IT relied upon a reseller to confirm a transfer request for Panix.com, but the ISP was never contacted. In a recent report on domain hijacking (PDF), ICANN urged registrars to work harder to ensure that their resellers handle registrations properly and maintain accurate records. While expressing concern, ICANN doesn’t appear ready to further regulate the use of resellers.
If more new TLDs follow EurID’s lead, it could encourage larger resellers to become accredited as ICANN registrars, a step recently taken by hosting giants The Planet and EV1Servers. Registrar status could provide a modest edge in competitive market niches. Google, for example, is an ICANN-accredited registrar, while Yahoo and Microsoft are resellers.