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ICANN “not an advocate” for new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, September 13, 2011, 11:12:21 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN is a facilitator of, not an advocate for, new top-level domains.

That’s the message ICANN is choosing to present as its executives begin their global awareness-raising campaign for the new gTLD program.

President Rod Beckstrom was in Sao Paolo, Brazil, at the Futurecom conference yesterday. In his address there, he said, according to an ICANN press release:

I want to make clear that ICANN is an organization that is not advocating new gTLDs for anyone. Our role is merely facilitation to implement the policy and the programs approved by our community, so we are here to educate not to advocate.

That will come as little surprise to anyone familiar with ICANN’s communications plan – it needs to tell people what new gTLDs are, and what they are not, without sounding like a salesman.

Senior ICANN staff, as well as chair Steve Crocker, are scheduled for a deal of outreach-focused globe-trotting over the next few months.

Beckstrom is due in London next week for a panel discussion on new gTLDs, and I understand similar events in Paris and Berlin have also been lined up.

I’m also on the London panel, along with Nominet’s Lesley Cowley and Lorna Gradden from Com Laude. The value of this kind of thing is in the questions, so hopefully there’ll be a decent turnout.

Beckstrom is also slated to appear at Gitex in Dubai next month.

Crocker is keynoting the newdomains.org conference in Munich in two weeks, and the Bulgarian Domain Forum event is also anticipating ICANN staff participation.

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