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It actually takes a bit to keep this running with rock solid reliability. For example when a registrar calls Verisign they get replies almost in an instant as there are people sitting by 24x7 to handle and clear up any issues that come up. And the uptime, with the exception of planned maintenance (which can run from 45 minutes to several hours) is near 100%. This isn't like calling godaddy or fighting with Google or Facebook if you have a problem.

Does Verisign make money? Yes. Do they have a right to make a profit? Yes. How much? Not up to the public to decide this it's up to their customers. Their customers are registrars, not the public. Their contract, fairly negotiated is with ICANN (and their registrars).

What's interesting is that you don't hear much about the price from large portfolio owners but from people who seem to think that nobody has a right to make a profit and all costs need to be driven out of any existing system which most certainly needs to be disrupted.

The .COM namespace is the property of the United States Department of Commerce, which has a responsibility to the American public to provide the best service at the lowest cost. Contracting to Verisign and allowing it to extract rents may well be the best way of doing so. But a right to make a profit off a public resource? Why? Why Verisign and not, say, me?

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