A good example of why expired domains should be allowed back into the pool comes in the form of another question from Jonathan Mendelson: "I was recently searching to see if mendelson.net was available, and it surprised me to see that Network Solutions was holding it. I used the whois function to find out more, and I saw that their record expired on Nov. 14, 1999. This makes it appear that they are holding the domain illegally. Are they allowed to do this, and if not, is there any action that I can take to prevent them doing so? Is there any particular reason that they might be holding it, and might there be other domains with which they are doing the same?"
Of course, an answer (in the form of another question, obviously) might be found in this bit from conf00sledBynsi who asks:
"There is a domain name I am interested in, which is not being used. It was originally registered in March of 1988, and has not been reregistered, so it has 'lapsed' for over three months, but Network Solutions has not released it for re-registration yet. After a couple of emails to Network Solutions, I received the following reply:
Does anybody know how long their 'billing cycle' is, or what their algorithm is for determining when to release a domain name? For that matter, has anybody figured out their algorithm for when, exactly, during a particular day the database is updated?"---------------------
Thank you for contacting Network Solutions.
The expiration date that shows in WHOIS is not the date that a domain name becomes available to be registered by another party.
The expiration date appears in the WHOIS database so that the registrant may be able to verify how long they have locked in there domain name registration.
The registrant still has until the end of the billing cycle before the domain name is deleted, and released to be registered by the public.
We do not release the date a domain name will be deleted from our database to third parties. Please continue to check the availability of the domain name on a day to day basis. As long as it is registered our system will not allow you to register the name. Once it is deleted, the name is able to be registered on a first come first serve basis.
There are no waiting list for domain name registrations.
Could it be, that by arbitrarily defining their "billing cycle" NSI is able to hold on to domains that have been expired for years. I would think that your normal business cycle is measured in months so this seems rather fishy to me. Might NSI be squatting on their own domains?