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.vla TLD: Not So Fast, Says Flemish Government

Patrick Vande Walle

As reported last July, there is a proposal from some Flemish politicians to create a .vla top level domain under the new gTLD process launched by ICANN. The proposal further elaborated that the Flemish government would have to cover the costs.

Not so fast, says the Flemish government. According to this press article, it wants to be sure the market is large enough to justify pouring all that money into the ICANN process. They will hire a consultant to study the market and come up with a business case. Or not.

In this period of economic downturn, even wealthy communities like Flanders want to avoid expensive and risky investments. ICANN does not yet understand the message that it has to adapt its RFP to the actual economic context.

Some possible ideas:

  • stop dreaming about recovering past expenses on the gTLD program;
  • fractioning the payment of the application fee in several installments, which would make it easier to negotiate with investors;
  • postpone for two or three years the collection of the annual registry fee, to allow new gTLD operators to start operating in a financially sound context, with no loans and other debts that may compromise their existence.

I am well aware the above-mentioned article is quite misinformed in that it mixes up registry operators with registrars. Still, the core element of the cost vs risk of the new gTLD process is symptomatic of the concerns I heard from several wannabee registry operators.

By Patrick Vande Walle, All around Internet governance troublemaker
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Simple Solution John Berryhill  –  Mar 25, 2009 2:10 PM PDT

Just have them start speaking Catalan instead of Vlaamse.  The .cat registry is already operational and didn't cost as much.

(and anyone who has not seen the movie "In Bruges" should add it to their Netflix list)

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