A domain name registrar is a company that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. A domain name registrar must be accredited by a generic top-level domain gTLD registry or a country code top-level domain ccTLD registry. A registrar operates in accordance with the guidelines of the designated domain name registries. Until , Network Solutions Inc. In addition to the function of domain name registry operator, it was also the sole registrar for these domains. However, several companies had developed independent registrar services. In one such company, Ivan Pope 's company, NetNames , developed the concept of a standalone commercial domain name registration service which would sell domain registration and other associated services to the public, effectively establishing the retail arm of an industry with the registries being the wholesalers. In October , following pressure from the growing domain name registration business and other interested parties, NSI's agreement with the United States Department of Commerce was amended. This system officially commenced service on November 30, under the supervision of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ICANN , although there had been several testbed registrars using the system since March 11, Since then, over registrars have entered the market for domain name registration services.
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Domain registration is the process of acquiring a domain name from a domain name registrar. In the U. Department of Commerce , in conjunction with several public and private entities, created InterNIC to maintain a central database that contains all the registered domain names and the associated IP addresses in the U. This central database is copied to Top Level Domain TLD servers around the world and creates the primary routing tables used by every computer that connects to the Internet. Domain registration information is maintained by the domain name registries, which contract with domain registrars to provide registration services to the public. An end user selects a registrar to provide the registration service, and that registrar becomes the designated registrar for the domain chosen by the user. Only the designated registrar may modify or delete information about domain names in a central registry database. It is not unusual for an end user to switch registrars, invoking a domain transfer process between the registrars involved, that is governed by specific domain name transfer policies. Although the dedicated registrar is the only entity that can modify or delete information regarding domain names in the central registry, there are many domain resellers that allow you to sell domains.