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Fun and Games In the ccTLD World

Michele Neylon

There must be something in the air. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but there are a lot of things going on in the ccTLD world at the moment.

In the UK Nominet's Annual General Meeting (AGM) is being held this week. This would normally provoke a yawn from most people — it's an AGM — how exciting can that be? This year's AGM looks like it could be quite entertaining, although it probably isn't going to be particularly beneficial for its membership.

Over the last few weeks the private members' mailing list has been a veritable battleground. While some "healthy" discussion prior to an AGM and the election of various people might be expected, the activity over the past few weeks has gone from the sublime to the absolutely insane.

It seems to have all started shortly after the PAB election results were announced, though anyone trying to follow the tit for tat bickering may be excused for not being able to provide a concise timeline.

The board election debacle came to a head a few days ago when Nominet issued a warning to its members about their voting in the AGM. This of course led to even more debate and back and forth, which has probably confused quite a few people. There is, of course, a discussion (or two) on Acorn Domains.

A lot of the "action" seems to centre around "resolution 6", which members are meant to vote on at the AGM. The more vocal members seem to have split into two camps. You can read the opposing views here and here.

At the same time as some of Nominet's members are involved in a catfight the new gTLDs, which ICANN are supposedly introducing, came into the public eye again, with a new dotEng campaign being launched. I already mentioned the Scottish campaign for a .sco.

In Ireland the IEDR, which is the body responsible for the IE ccTLD, was subject to an external audit before Christmas. While the Irish Communications regulator (Comreg) had made promises of delivering a report to both stakeholders and the public nothing has been forthcoming to date. In the same period the Irish ccTLD topped the 100k name mark.

Over in France AFNIC is coming under fire, as the French communications regulator has opened up a consultation on who should be managing the French ccTLD and related entities that cater for the DOMTOM. It's an odd move on the French government's part, as AFNIC has always had state representation. Could we see .fr being run by a non-French company?
AFNIC are being quite gracious about the whole affair and issued a statement welcoming the process earlier this week, but who is to know what is going on behind closed doors…

And if that wasn't enough Denmark's ccTLD, .dk, is also coming under scrutiny. The dotDK group is tendering to run the registry, as they feel that the current system is far from ideal. Having dealt with DK Hostmaster's rather convoluted domain activation system I can't really argue with them!

What makes the dotDK project interesting for ICANN watchers is that Tina Dam, who has been working for ICANN for the last few years, is one of the main people involved. Francesco's article covers some of this in more detail.

And you thought ICANN was exciting?

By Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions. More blog posts from Michele Neylon can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, ICANN, Top-Level Domains

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