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ICANN DOESN’T money-grub in new gTLD contract shocker

ICANN may have a reputation for trying to slice itself a bigger slice of the pie whenever it renegotiates a new gTLD contract, but that doesn’t appear to be the case this week.

The .aero registry, which has been running for 20 years, looks set to continue to get its gTLD on the cheap, paying ICANN just a fifth of what newer registry operators pay.

But it has standardized on many other terms of the 2012-round Registry Agreement, meaning Uniform Rapid Suspension, zone file access via the CZDS, EBERO failover, and the registry code of conduct are all coming to .aero soon.

.aero is a “sponsored” TLD restricted to the aerospace industry, approved in 2000 as one of ICANN’s first “test-bed” gTLD round. The registry is Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques, a trade body.

Under the terms of its new contract, which is open for public comment, SITA will pay ICANN a fixed fee of $500 a year if it has under 5,000 names or $5,000 a year if it has more.

Registries receiving their delegations since 2012 pay $25,000 per year in quarterly installments.

.aero currently has about 12,000 names under management, so SITA will carry on paying $5,000 a year. Like other gTLDs, transaction fees kick in at 50,000 names, which at its historical growth rate should happen at some point in the 2090s.

The public comment period closes August 16, about a month before the current .aero contract expires. If history is any guide, any public comments filed will be duly noted and ignored.

OpenSRS now offering .jobs and .aero

Tucows has started offering .jobs and .aero domain names through its OpenSRS reseller channel.

According to a blog posting, resellers will have to opt in to offering these gTLDs. Prices are $125/year for .jobs and $50/year for .aero.

It’s potentially good news for both registries, particularly .jobs. Both are restricted, sponsored gTLDs, but .jobs has a much less strict set of entry requirements than .aero.

The OpenSRS network has about 11,000 resellers, according to the company, which is largely responsible for Tucows being the third-largest ICANN-accredited registrar by domain volume.