Will Oman’s .om domain follow in the footsteps of .co? Or .cm? Or neither?
The country-code top-level domain is set to be transferred to a new manager following an ICANN vote this coming Thursday.
The redelegation is one item on a unusually light agenda for the board’s July 28 telephone meeting. It’s on the consent agenda, so it will likely be rubber-stamped without discussion.
The domain is currently assigned to Oman Telecommunications Company, but the new owner is expected to be the national Telecommunications Regulatory Authority or an affiliated entity.
The Omani TRA was given authority over the nation’s domain names by Royal Decree in 2002.
It has already successfully had the Arabic-script ccTLD .عمان approved by ICANN for use as an internationalized domain name, but the IDN has not yet been delegated.
AusRegistry International this March won a $1.3 million contract with the TRA to provide software and services for the .om and .عمان registries.
At the time, the TRA said it planned to market both Latin and Arabic extensions to increase the number of domain registrations.
The .om ccTLD is of course a .com typo, like .co and .cm, but squatting is not currently possible due to its strict registration policies.
Only Omani entities may register .om domains today, and only third-level domains (such as example.com.om and example.net.om) may be registered. Domains may not be resold.
I have no particular reason to believe this situation will change under new stewardship, but it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on the TLD for possible policy changes.
When Cameroon’s .cm opened up, it implemented a widely vilified blanket wildcard in an attempt to profit from .com typos.
Colombia’s .co of course took the responsible route, disowning wildcards and embracing strong anti-squatting measures, even if its mere existence was still a headache for some trademark owners.