Australian authorities are planning to back bids for .melbourne and .sydney top-level domains, according to a report in The Australian.
The article quotes an official from the New South Wales Premier’s Office saying there’s a plan to release a tender for the right to operate .sydney, and somebody from the City of Melbourne saying they’re “actively considering” .melbourne.
The report does not spell out the expected uses of the TLDs. I expect some of the strategy will depend on what business plans the successful registry operator comes up with.
The current draft of ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook protects city names, demanding applicants show proof of support or non-objection from the relevant public authorities.
The only exception is when the applied-for string matches a non-capital city name, but is not intended to represent that city.
That’s designed to allow brand or generic TLDs that match smaller place names — think .phoenix or .buffalo.
With the latest revision of the Guidebook, it is noted that it is up for national governments to decide what the appropriate entity to support a city TLD bid is, which could complicate matters,
There’s already a Facebook group devoted to a .melbourne application.