Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

Next new gTLD round should be less English, says ICANN boss

Kevin Murphy, June 16, 2021, 16:49:55 (UTC), Domain Policy

The next round of new gTLDs should be less focused on the English-speaking world, ICANN CEO Göran Marby said yesterday.

Talking to ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee in a bilateral session at ICANN 71 yesterday, Marby said he believed the 2012 round — the last time anyone was able to apply for a new gTLD — was too English-centric.

We have so few identifiers on the internet, [which] I think is a problem. Most of them are in relation to the English language or translations of English words…

I think and I truly believe that the next round should be giving the ability for people to have identifiers on the internet that’s actually in correlation with their own local contexts, their own scripts, their own keyboards, their own narratives, so they can create their pwn communities on the internet…

We have to rethink a lot of things we have done previously, because last time we did a round it was very much about the English language and I don’t think that’s fair for the rest of the world.

He pointed out the need for universal acceptance — the technical and educational challenge of making sure all software and online services support non-Latin internationalized domain names.

While it’s true that the 2012 round of applications turned out very much English-heavy, it was not by design.

Broadening the gTLD space out to non-Latin scripts and non-English languages was one of the benefits frequently cited (often, I thought, to guilt-trip the naysayers) before opponents of new gTLDs — including governments — in the run-up to the 2012 round.

ICANN was tasked in 2011/12 with reaching out to potential applications in under-served areas of the world, but it’s generally considered to have done a pretty shoddy job of it.

In the 2012 round, 116 of the 1,930 total applications were for IDNs, and 97 of those at some point made it into the DNS root. There have been a further 61 IDN ccTLDs that came in through the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process.

IDN applicants were given special privileges in the 2012 round, such as prioritization in the lottery that selected the processing order for applications. The first delegated new gTLD was in Arabic.

The IDN gTLDs have had a mixed performance volume-wise, with the top 10 strings, which are mostly Chinese, having between 14,500 and 164,000 domains under management.

Only one has passed the 50,000-domain threshold where it has to start paying ICANN transaction fees.

The numbers are not thoroughly terrible by new gTLD standards, but they don’t make the case for huge demand, either.

Tagged: , , ,

Comments (1)

  1. Greg Thomas says:

    If Marby is so concerned that the Internet is too English-centric, then why isn’t he insisting that on the immediate release of domain names in the remaining transliterated .com IDN registries?

    These include simplified Chinese, Arabic, and Deva (used by Hindi-speaking people), which collectively are used by 2 billion people worldwide? The registry agreements for these widely-used scripts have been in place for six years and yet they are sitting mothballed and gathering dust.

    If Marby is so concerned about making the Internet more globally relevant, accessible, and inclusive, then he should start with what is already delegated and waiting to be released. Otherwise it is difficult to believe that ICANN is concerned with making the Internet more global so much as it is concerned with the fees associated with new registry applications.

    But ICANN knows that the money it will make from registry contributions that are based upon $0.25 per domain name registration pales in comparison to the six-figure amount that it makes off of every new gTLD application. Thus, IDN registries delegated six years ago and waiting to be released are old hat and yesterday’s news.

Add Your Comment