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Revision as of 16:41, 2 March 2012
|Target Region:||United States|
|Type:||sponsored top level domain (sTLD)|
| Diana G. Oblinger, President & CEO |
Mark Luker, Vice-president
.edu is one of the original top-level domain names (TLD) implemented in the root zone of the internet Domain Name System (DNS). Domain name registrations for .edu is restricted for the use of accredited post secondary educational institutions in the United States. The registry operations of the domain name is operated by EDUCAUSE through a Cooperative Agreement granted by the United States Department of Commerce (DOC), the final authority in making decision regarding the membership and operations of .edu domain. 
EDUCAUSE is a non-profit association dedicated in promoting the intelligent use of information technology to enhance higher education. It has offices in Boulder, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
.edu TLD was introduced by Jon Postel and Joyce Reynolds in 1984 through RFC 920 and it was implemented in the root zone of the internet DNS in 1985 along with .arpa, .com, .gov, .mil, .net, and .org. Originally, the .edu TLD was intended for all educational institutions, however it was limited to four colleges and universities. The Network Information Center (NIC) was the first registrar for the TLDs.  In early 1990s, the registration of non-military domain names .com, .edu, gov and .net was transferred to Network Solutions through a Cooperative Agreement which was granted by the National Science Foundation. Network Solutions managed the domain name registrations of .edu TLD until 2001. On October 21, 2001, EDUCAUSE signed a five-year Cooperative Agreement with the DOC to take over the administration of domain name registrations for .edu TLD. The organization sub-contracted Verisign to provide the technical registry solutions for the organization   
On February 2, 2006, the DOC renewed the .edu TLD Cooperative Agreement with EDUCAUSE for another five years. Under the new contract, EDUCAUSE was authorized to charge $40 yearly administration fee for every domain name and to implement policies that will prohibit the transfer of .edu domain names to other registrars. On September 30, 2011, The Cooperative Agreement was again extended until 2016.
Community Colleges Petition
In 2000, the American Association of Community Colleges petitioned the Department of Commerce to allow them to be able register their domain names under the .edu TLD. During that time, George R. Boggs, president of the association said that it would be easier for students to access the websites of community colleges if their websites are registered under the .edu domain space. He said, "As our colleges are moving more and more into distance education, they want students to have easy access to what the colleges have to offer." In 1993, Jon Postel limited the .edu domain name registrations to 4-year colleges and universities while all other educational institutions were advised to register their domain names under country domains. Prior to the restriction, there were approximately 200 community colleges that were registered to .edu. According to Arthur Brodsky, then spokesperson of the National Telecommunication Information Administration (NTIA), "Edu goes back to a time when they needed a way to identify supercomputing centers, and they were all universities, It's one of those pioneer things." At the time of the petition, the DOC was locked in a Cooperative Agreement with Network Solutions and changes can be implemented after the expiration of the contract in 2001.  
.EDU Eligibility Expansion
EDUCAUSE proposed the inclusion of community colleges in the membership criteria for .edu TLD to DOC. On February 11, 2003, the organization announced that the eligibility for domain name registrations for .edu has been changed. All accredited post secondary institutions will be allowed to register their domain names starting April 2003. 
On the other hand all domain names that were registered before October 29, 2001 were grandfathered to the EDUCAUSE system regardless of the existing eligibility criteria.
Purging of In-active .edu TLD
On October 2003, the DOC and EDUCAUSE started deleting all inactive .edu domain names to ensure the accuracy of the Whois data base. All registrants were notified to correct their information on the system. Notifications were sent through e-mail and follow-up were sent through regular mails. All domain names that were in-active were purged such as allison.edu, geraldine.edu and jedi.edu.
Caution to Internet Internet Users
There some suspected entities who are operating their websites under the .edu domain space because domain names were registered prior to the establishment of the existing .edu TLD registration eligibility policy. The Department of Commerce are warning internet users to be vigilant when dealing with institutions offering educational programs online and to research and be knowledgeable about the institution.
- ↑ Cooperative Agreement
- ↑ .edu FAQ
- ↑ About EDUCAUSE
- ↑ RFC 920-Domain Requirements
- ↑ ICANN, “Internet Stability,” and New Top Level Domains
- ↑ Amendment 21 to the NSI Cooperative Agreement
- ↑ EDUCAUSE Cooperative Agreement
- ↑ Verisign Subcontract
- ↑ .edu Internet Domain to Continue Under EDUCAUSE Management
- ↑ Cooperative Agreement Amendment 23
- ↑ RFC 1591
- ↑ Community colleges want use of dot-edu Web names
- ↑ EDUCAUSE's Proposal
- ↑ EDUCAUSE Announces Expansion of Eligibility for .edu Internet Names to Nationally Accredited Institutions
- ↑ Eligibility for the .edu Domain
- ↑ EDUCAUSE Prepares Mass Purge of .EDU Domains
- ↑ Diploma Mills and Accreditation - Diploma Mills