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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Soviet Domain Names on Sale for $15,000

As of Oct. 1, anyone with $15,000 to spare will be able to snap up a piece of cyberspace in the former Soviet Union's recently resurrected .su domain.

The project is the brainchild of two noncommercial organizations -- RosNIIROS and the Internet Development Fund.

The organizers plan to funnel the money earned into technical research and Internet education projects. The initiative has received the support of domain administrators in Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

A special regulatory committee, made up of organizers of the Soviet Internet at the beginning of the 1990s, has been formed to set the rules in the new domain. RosNIIROS director Alexei Platonov chairs the committee.

Organizers say the high starting price is needed to scare off speculators and cybersquatters, who might otherwise swipe big names for subsequent resale. The price will be reduced to $100 over the next five years, organizers say.

Anton Nosik, head of the Rambler portal, said the domain names are too expensive and that no one would buy the .su domain for $100, let alone $15,000.

"When I did Gazeta.ru, the domain had already been owned for two years. I paid $1,000 for it -- this was the most expensive purchase of a domain name in RuNet. But these are different times," said Nosik.

The head of a major Internet project -- who asked to remain anonymous so cybersquatters wouldn't purchase his prospective .su domain -- also said the price of $15,000 was unrealistic.

"For $15,000, we will not buy our address in the .su zone. We might consider it for $100."