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[Extract]Did anyone notice that the Internet came close to falling over at the end of September? It wasn’t highly publicised, but we witnessed an impressive example of brinkmanship in negotiations.
On 29 September 1998, the day before its contract with Network Solutions, Inc (NSI) expired, the US Government announced it had extended the contract for a week while negotiations continued. Then on 6 October it announced that agreement had been reached on modifications to the contract and NSI would continue to administer the top-level domain name system for two years.
NSI had previously issued veiled threats to "pull the plug" if its interests were not sufficiently protected in any new Internet management plan. What exactly has been going on? Could the Internet have come to a standstill at the end of September? How might these arguments over Internet governance affect users?