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ARI wins three Aussie geo-gTLD contracts

Kevin Murphy, February 22, 2012, Domain Registries

In what may be the most dog-bites-man piece of news I’ve carried in a while, ARI Registry Services has won the contracts to run Australian geographic gTLDs .melbourne, .sydney and .victoria.

The deals were awarded by the governments of New South Wales and Victoria, following a Request For Proposals initiated in October.

ARI said today that that Melbourne IT and Ernst & Young are also going to be involved in preparing the ICANN hew gTLD application.

ARI is a subsidiary of AusRegistry Group, which already runs the back-end for .au, which made it favorite for Australian geo-gTLDs from the outset.

Cloud Registry, CoCCA and Sedari, which also have connections to the region, were also known to be jointly bidding for the contracts.

I’m quite bullish on city gTLDs, particularly the large tourist-hungry cities such as London and New York..

Not only are most city gTLD going to be uncontested slam-dunk applications, I think in many cases they’re also going to see great demand from local small businesses.

Joint venture bids for Aussie city gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, November 21, 2011, Domain Registries

Cloud Registry, CoCCA and Sedari have teamed up to bid for the proposed Australian city top-level domains .melbourne and .sydney.

Sedari announced today that it has responded to the recently closed requests from proposals, which were opened by the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria a month ago.

The bid would see Cloud Registry operate the registry back-end itself, with Sedari handling back-office functions such as the ICANN contracts. CoCCA is on board for its country-code TLD experience.

While Sedari is UK-based, the venture has links to the continent.

CoCCA is based in New Zealand and has a NOC in Sydney, Cloud Registry is based in Sydney, and Sedari founder Liz Williams was once a board member of .au administrator auDA.

While no other firms have announced bids, you can expect that the usual suspects in the registry service provider market will have also applied.

I’d be surprised if local firm ARI Registry Services (formerly AusRegistry International), whose parent runs .au, is not a strong contender.

Aussies to apply for four geo-TLDs

Kevin Murphy, October 19, 2011, Domain Registries

The Australian state governments of New South Wales and Victoria have put out a tender for a registry provider for up to four new top-level domains.

They want to apply to ICANN next year for geographic gTLDs including .victoria, .sydney, .melbourne and possibly .nsw, according to the RFP.

The new gTLDs would be self-funded commercial ventures, with some names reserved for public use, it says. Revenue would be shared between the government and the operator.

If a local presence is taken into account then ARI Registry Services, which recently changed its name from AusRegistry International to dilute the perception that it was too Australia-focused, could be considered a likely front-runner for the gigs.

The tender closes November 15.

Aussies to back city TLD bids

Kevin Murphy, April 25, 2011, Domain Registries

Australian authorities are planning to back bids for .melbourne and .sydney top-level domains, according to a report in The Australian.

The article quotes an official from the New South Wales Premier’s Office saying there’s a plan to release a tender for the right to operate .sydney, and somebody from the City of Melbourne saying they’re “actively considering” .melbourne.

The report does not spell out the expected uses of the TLDs. I expect some of the strategy will depend on what business plans the successful registry operator comes up with.

The current draft of ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook protects city names, demanding applicants show proof of support or non-objection from the relevant public authorities.

The only exception is when the applied-for string matches a non-capital city name, but is not intended to represent that city.

That’s designed to allow brand or generic TLDs that match smaller place names — think .phoenix or .buffalo.

With the latest revision of the Guidebook, it is noted that it is up for national governments to decide what the appropriate entity to support a city TLD bid is, which could complicate matters,

There’s already a Facebook group devoted to a .melbourne application.