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New gTLD industry pleads with senators

Kevin Murphy, December 22, 2011, 08:51:09 (UTC), Domain Policy

Twenty-eight domain name industry players have written to two influential US senators in support of ICANN’s new generic top-level domains program.

Calling it “innovative and economically beneficial”, the letter takes issue with third-party claims that the program was “rushed”, pointing out that it took a long time and lots of people to develop.

Since the formation of the multi-stakeholder Internet governance, no process has been as inclusive, and no level of outreach has been as far-reaching as the one facilitating discussion of namespace expansion.

While new gTLDs will experience different levels of end-user adoption, we optimistically anticipate the useful possibilities for new services and applications from the namespace, the positive economic impact in the United States and globally, the inclusion of developing nations in Internet growth and development, and the realization of the hard work and preparation of the thousands of interested stakeholders dedicated not only to their own interests, but that of the global Internet.

The letter (pdf) was signed almost exclusively by registrars, registries, applicants and consultants; with one or two possible exceptions, all companies that stand to make money from new gTLDs.

It was sent to Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, chair and ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

That committee held a hearing into new gTLDs two weeks ago during which Rockefeller expressed cautious support for the concept, saying he was in favor of competition.

The letter is dated December 8, the day of the Senate hearing.

A similar hearing in the House of Representatives last week resulted in two Congressmen sending a letter (pdf) to the Department of Commerce requesting a delay to the program.

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Comments (6)

  1. gpmgroup says:

    From the letter –

    “It is noteworthy that this expansion will include internationalized domain names (IDNs), TLDs that permit Internet users, for the first time, to access domain names in their native languages and character sets.”

    Not really the first time given IDN ccTLDs but more importantly I could never figure out at the time why Peter Dengate Thrush wouldn’t consider categories or new gTLDs to ones which are likely to provide the most benefit for the public interest such as IDN gTLDs.

    I see his signature is absent from the letter.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I can’t speak for PDT, but it seems to me that allowing IDN gTLDs in first would put ASCII-speakers at a disadvantage.

      If some company gets first dibs on .music in Cyrillic, say, you could guarantee they’d claim rights on the Latin version later.

  2. Kristina says:

    Interesting that the signatories didn’t include the one statement that, IMHO, would have actually made a difference: A commitment to adopt and implement RPMs in addition to those required by the AG. That could have changed some minds . . .

  3. M says:

    “seems to me that allowing IDN gTLDs in first would put ASCII-speakers at a disadvantage.”

    You could register an ASCII gTLD for 25+ years.
    You still can’t register a Chinese,Cyrillic,Korean,Arabic etc gTLD until this day so if anyone is disadvantaged and is held ‘hostage’ are existing IDN gTLD’s.

    I think Steve DelBianco described the problem accurately in June 2009:

    “I remember
    four years ago at the Vancouver meeting, hearing all the discussion of
    IDN TLDs. There was no one at the ICANN meeting at Vancouver who was
    splitting between cc’s and G’s. It was all about serving the IDN
    community, which was desperate for being able to use domain names and e-
    mail addresses in their own scripts, and we were — I mean, everybody
    was uniformly pressing ICANN to move more quickly. But then something
    happened. It got forked. It got forked for two reasons. And I think
    mainly because the notion that new TLDs were going to include — were
    going to include all of the ASCII G’s, so by opening up new TLDs to not
    only IDNs but all the G’s, we’ve created a giant process clutch as we
    try to figure out how to fit them all in, and that’s slowing them down,
    and that drove the need — as far as I can tell — for the ccNSO to
    demand a fast track.”

    http://syd.icann.org/files/meetings/sydney2009/transcript-gnso-council-24jun09-en.txt

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Well, if the non-US, non-Latin-using proponents of new gTLDs want to voice their opinion about the program, I think now would be an excellent time to do so.

      Because I haven’t heard a peep out of them.

  4. Interesting list of signatories. Did not know about this letter until now. Thanks for posting Kevin. I support the launch of the TLD program as well 🙂

    Whether additional RPM are added that go beyond the current ICANN guidebook odometer remains to be seen and will be a case by case scenario. I know we will be incorporating additional mechanisms for TLD success.

    Constantine Roussos

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