Neustar has been awarded a new three-to-five-year contract to manage the .us ccTLD, under a deal with the US Department of Commerce announced today.
It’s a renewal of a role that Neustar has held since .us was relaunched in 2001, but the new contract come with a few notable new provisions.
First, it seems that the company is now obliged to bring some “multi-stakeholder” oversight into the management of the TLD. Neustar said in a press release:
In 2014, Neustar plans to launch a new multi-stakeholder council including members representing localities, registrars, small businesses and non-profit organizations as well as entities involved with STEM education and cybersecurity. The .US TLD Stakeholder Council will provide a vibrant, diverse, and independent forum for future development of the .US TLD, working directly with .US TLD stakeholders and helping Neustar to identify public needs and develop policies, programs, and partnerships to address those needs while continuing to enhance America’s address.
Second, it looks like .kids.us might not be dead after all.
The third-level service was introduced as a result of the poorly considered Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002, which forced Neustar to operate a child-friendly zone in .us.
Notwithstanding the June 2012 determination to suspend operation of kids.us domain under the current contract, DOC seeks proposals to rejuvenate the kids.us space to increase utilization, utility and awareness of the kids.us domain.
The contract has several more references to Neustar’s obligation to promote the SLD. At the time it was killed off, there were just a handful of registered names in the space.
The contract also says that .us currently has just shy of 1.8 million names under management.