While the .US registry displays domain changes at the registry within minutes, .COM (and .NET) domains have required hours of waiting. Recently Verisign, who runs these registries, has announced that their .COM (and .NET) registry will now be updated ar faster, and they are quoting that it will average only 5 minutes for changes to appear.
When you make a change, such as the nameserver, to a .US domain, your change would appear in the global WHOIS and authoritative nameservers in under 15 minutes. Currently, performing this same action on a .COM domain can take over twenty-four hours! (Their own web site states exactly "NOTE: Successful domain registrations and modifications may not be in the WHOIS database for up to 48 hour".
I always felt that this long delay was ridiculous. While the speed of .US domains truly reflected their 21st century origin (2002), .COMs seemed to be holding fast to their 1980's roots. Making only TWO changes per day was far easier for Verisign and domain owners simply had to wait. Because there was little competition to Verisign, nothing changed for years. Verisign made changes at around 5 AM and 5 PM each day, but these times began to drift later and later into each day.
It appears that as other domain extensions with faster updates begin to get more popular, Verisign is now trying to "catch up". This latest announcement is far less controversial than their "wildcard" DNS implementation that was released without any announcement in 2003. This "wildcard" change was suspended within a few weeks due to the outpouring of extreme negative agitation from the Internet community.
Verisign plans to add this new "rapid update" capability to .COM and .NET domains soon after the Labor Day weekend on September 8, 2004. Let's hope that this major change works without any negative side effects (and better than the grammar used on their site).
Update: (September 7, 2004): It appears that Verisign's efforts are being exclusively applied to their upcoming system. A transfer I made that completed on Monday (Sept 6th) , is still showing the previous registrar, unlocked status and previous expiration date after several system updates (Sept 7th). Let's hope that the new system works FAR better.
© 2004 Rick Smith All rights reserved.