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dotShabaka Diary — Day 12, Welcome to ICANN

Kevin Murphy, September 18, 2013, Domain Registries

The twelfth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

The شبكة. team met with marketing and PR agencies in the Middle East today to make plans for launch.
 
They were shocked that there was so much uncertainty around a global program that in the words of ICANN’s Christine Willett “… will have the first new gTLD launched and in production by the end of this calendar year.”
 
The agencies were astounded that after such a significant investment we still have no idea when شبكة. can be launched.
 
We welcomed them to the world of new gTLDs.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

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ICANN looking into string confusion confusion

Kevin Murphy, September 18, 2013, Domain Policy

ICANN is looking at “consistency issues” in new gTLD String Confusion Objections, program manager Christine Willett said in an ICANN interview published last night.

The nature of the probe is not clear, but ICANN does appear to be working with the dispute resolution provider, the International Centre For Dispute Resolution, on the issue.

In the interview, Willett said:

Staff is working diligently with dispute resolution service providers to ensure that all procedures have been followed and to look at the expert determinations — we’re looking at these consistency issues.

The SCO has come in for tonnes of criticism due to the conflicting and downright ludicrous decisions made by panelists.

I would hope that ICANN is looking beyond just whether “all procedures have been followed”, given that the root cause of the consistency problems appears to be the lack of guidance for panelists in the policy itself.

Also in the interview, Willett said that she expects the first new gTLDs to be “in production” before the end of the year, and guessed that the second round of applications “is a couple of years down the road”.

Watch it here:

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dotShabaka Diary — Day 11, 2013 RAA issues

Kevin Murphy, September 17, 2013, Domain Registries

The eleventh installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

As شبكة. gets closer to launch, signing up Registrars becomes ever more critical and we have started discussions with potential partners across three continents. To participate in Sunrise, Registrars must have already completed two steps: 1) Signed the 2013 RAA; and 2) Completed TMDB Accreditation.

To date, around 20 Registrars have signed the 2013 RAA according to the InterNIC website.

However, because Registrars cannot access the TMDB environment until they have signed the 2013 RAA, even fewer have started TMDB accreditation. Many of those that have signed the RAA have been frustrated by TMDB OTE access problems.

Is there any official ICANN database where Registries can confirm Registrar TMDB Accreditation?

Registries are locked out of the TMDB environment until the 2013 RAA is signed. Why not let Registries access the TMDB as needed (now) to accelerate readiness for the launch of IDN gTLDs?

And why aren’t ICANN or Deloitte publishing TMCH numbers for non-English trademarks? How can we decide whether the Sunrise Phase should be 30 days or more if we don’t know the numbers? Why not publish the forecasts and let the Registries decide how to optimise launch phases for their businesses model?

Read previous and future diary entries here.

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Coming soon: phone numbers in .tel

Kevin Murphy, September 17, 2013, Domain Registries

Will companies defensively register their phone numbers? Telnic is to start selling long numeric .tel domain names for the first time, so we’re about to find out.

The company plans to lift the longstanding restriction on numeric domains of eight characters or longer on October 15, according to a press release (pdf) this morning:

Registrants wishing to register strings such as 00442074676450.tel or 0207-467-6450.tel will be able to do so through ICANN-accredited Registrars from 15:00 GMT on Tuesday 15th October.

“Registrants now have an increased choice of registering a .tel name or a .tel number under which they can publish all types of contact information online,” said Khashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic. “This means that if the customer knows either the business name or telephone number for a business, it can be reached online quickly in a mobile-friendly way.”

Telnic expects numeric .tel domains to cost the same as regular .tel domains, which varies by registrar but can be as low as about $15. There’s not going to be any special sunrise period.

Telnic has had the ability to do this since early 2011, when ICANN approved its Registry Services Evaluation Process request to lift its original ban on numeric-only second-level domains.

The RSEP was not without controversy. Telnic, remember, was one of two applicants for .tel back in 2003, and it won partly because its application committed the company to avoiding numerals.

There had been concern expressed by the International Telecommunications Union and others that phone number .tel domains might interfere with ENUM-based numbering schemes.

Those concerns had largely dried up by the time Telnic submitted its RSEP in 2010, when the only complaint came, weirdly, from Go Daddy.

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.CLUB offers solution to name collision risks

Kevin Murphy, September 16, 2013, Domain Tech

.CLUB Domains has come up with a simple workaround for its applied-for .club gTLD being categorized as risky by ICANN.

The company wants to reserve the top 50 .club domains that currently see DNS root traffic, so that if and when .club goes live the impact on organizations that use .club internally will be greatly reduced.

It’s not a wholly original idea, but .CLUB seems to be unique at the moment in that it actually knows what those 50 strings are, having commissioned an Interisle Consulting report of its proposed gTLD.

You’ll recall that Interisle is the company that ICANN commissioned to quantify the name collisions problem in the first place.

Its report is what ICANN used to categorize all applied-for gTLD strings into low, high and “uncalculated” risks, putting .club into the uncalculated category, delaying it by months.

(Interisle was at pains to point out in its report for .CLUB that it is not making any recommendations, interpreting the data, or advocating any solutions. Still, nice work if you can get it.)

By reserving the top 50 clashes — presumably in such a way that they will continue to return error responses after .club is delegated — .CLUB says .club would slip into ICANN’s definition of a low-risk string.

In a letter to ICANN (pdf) sent today, .CLUB chief technology officer Dirk Bhagat wrote:

blocking the 50 SLD strings from registration would prevent 52,647 out of the 89,533 queries from a potential collision (58.88%). After blocking the top 50 strings as SLD strings, only 36,886 (41.12%) queries remain, which is 12,114 fewer invalid queries at the root than .engineering, which ICANN classified as a low risk gTLD.

He adds that a further chunk of remaining SLDs are random strings that appear to have been created by Google’s Chrome browser and, many say, pose no risk of name collisions, reducing the risk further.

It’s hard to argue with the logic there, other than to say that ICANN’s categorization system itself has already come in for heavy criticism for drawing unjustified, arbitrary lines.

The list of domains .CLUB proposes to block is pretty interesting, including some strings that appear to be trademarks, the names of likely .club registrants, or potentially premium names.

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