In what has become a popular move among Registries, VeriSign has asked for permission from ICANN to release one and two character .net domain names. Other Registrars that have previously requested to release one and two character domain names include Telnic (.tel), Affilias (.info), and Neurstar (.biz).
In their proposal, VeriSign states that they will auction the domain names off with no end date. Domains can continuously receive bids until no further bids are placed for a specific period of time. Once purchased, the domain will function like any other .net name. However, if it let to expire by the current owner, the company will re-auction the name instead of automatically releasing it to the public like it does with other expired .net domain names.
.net is apparently a test prior to requesting the same permission for the popular .com domain extension (one character names as two character names are already in use, hp.com for example). In their request, the company says that the procedure for .com names would work differently and that the proceeds of the sales would “benefit the general Internet community.” The proceeds from the .net auctions will be used to promote the general awareness of the .net domain extension.
While most one and two character .net domain names are available, there are a few that were registered prior to the restrictions, q.net for example, that are currently in place and were grandfathered in.