Home / Blogs

Scrutinize ICANN's Thousand New-TLDs Limit

Alex Tajirian

I am skeptical about how ICANN has arrived at a technical limit of a thousand new TLDs per year. The ICANN study driving this number must be made public so that our industry's risk management experts can size up the finding.

Why am I skeptical? First, given that the limit is supposed to remain constant over the next few years instead of rising, it would appear that ICANN has overlooked the benefits of experience. Second, the now defunct Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns claimed to have the best processes for analyzing and managing risk. To put it mildly, they didn't.

Effective risk measures can't be based only on historical data and simulations; they must incorporate judgment based on experience and expertise. When considered alone, forecasts based on historical data can provide a false sense of security. Nevertheless, historical data on new TLDs is scarce, especially as it relates to such an enormous first-time endeavor. The risk from black swan events (sometimes referred to as "tail events" and "extreme events"), a term popularized by Nassim Taleb in his book of the same name, must be managed because attempts to predict such events are futile.

Thus, we need more transparency in ICANN's risk management readiness to launch new TLDs.

By Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMart

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance, Top-Level Domains


Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.


How about a million? Phillip Hallam-Baker  –  Oct 16, 2010 11:25 AM PDT

Like the IPv4 address space, a thousand a year is probably the anti-goldilocks number. It is too big and too small at the same time.

If IPv4 had had a 16 bit address space we would have fixed the address problem in 1985. If IPv4 had a 48 bit address space we could have learned to live within the constraints. But they chose 32 which was not even the size of a telephone number.

A thousand domains a year is probably large enough to kill off the protective registration market. Very few brands outside the top brands are going to register in every domain as a matter of policy. So the automatic registrations will be significantly less than the hundreds of thousands that new TLDs can currently expect.

It is of course technically possible to run a domain with a million or a billion names. The issue is not technology, the issue is funding models. One of the rather peculiar aspects of ICANN's TLD registration scheme is that they charge upwards of $50K and pay none of that over to the people who actually run the root servers.

In the long run this system is unsustainable it can only be a transition away from the original broken concept of a hierarchical delegation. The root will replace .com but with the task of publishing the root being managed by multiple registries bidding under competitive tender rather than by one company that managed to acquire a monopoly.  The cost and complexity of registering in the root will gradually fall until it is little more than cost of management.

It will take a decade or so this happens, but once the decision was taken to allow any new domains, the end result became inevitable.

You mean something like... David Conrad  –  Oct 16, 2010 11:16 PM PDT


Only one of the documents on which Phillip Hallam-Baker  –  Oct 17, 2010 4:40 AM PDT

Only one of the documents on which public comment is being sought is actually linked there.

Of course it is rather unlikely that there will be millions of applications when the non-refundable fee is $75K. But then again there is no need for the review scheme in that case.

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Afilias Mobile & Web Services

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias


Sponsored by Verisign

Promoted Posts

Now Is the Time for .eco

.eco launches globally at 16:00 UTC on April 25, 2017, when domains will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. .eco is for businesses, non-profits and people committed to positive change for the planet. See list of registrars offering .eco more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 330.6 Million, 1.3 Million Growth in First Quarter of 2017

.TECH Gets Its Big Hollywood Break

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Startup League Reports from WebSummit, Lisbon

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

.SPACE Becomes the Choice of the First Ever Space Nation Asgardia

Afilias Chairman Jonathan Robinson Wins ICANN's 2016 Leadership Award at ICANN 57

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry

Why .com is the Venture Capital Community's Power Player

The .cancerresearch TLD: Search for Cure Drives Digital Innovation

New TLD? Make Sure It's Secure