Top-Level Domains


How Did We Get Here? A Look Back at the History of IANA

October 2016 marks a milestone in the story of the Internet. At the start of the month, the United States Government let its residual oversight arrangements with ICANN over the operation of the IANA lapse. No single government now has a unique relationship with the governance of the protocol elements of the Internet, and it is now in the hands of a community of interested parties in a so-called Multi-Stakeholder framework. This is a unique step for the Internet and not without its attendant risks. How did we get here? more»

Another Free Registry Software Option

Google has recently announced the release of Nomulus, its free, open source registry software, triggering discussion of its impact on the industry. Afilias has over 15 years of experience in registry operations, and offers the following initial thoughts... First, free registry software is not new.CoCCA has offered this option for years, and TLDs such as .CX (Christmas Island) and .KI (Kiribati) use it. It is supported on a "best efforts" basis and appears to meet the limited needs of a few small operators. more»

Using Dot Brand Domains in Brand Communication

A certain number of brands are using a dot brand domain as their main actual website. The following analysis looks at how dot brands are used in brand communication. Are brands communicating about their domain names, or are domain names supporting brand communication? Dot brand corresponds to the ability, for a certain number of pioneering brands, to use their brand name at the top level of the naming system for their own purpose, in parallel to a dot com or a country code. more»

.US Hosts its Annual Town Hall Meeting

Neustar, a leading provider of registry services, is hosting a Town Hall meeting this month for the United States' country code Top-Level Domain, .US. Neustar introduced the .US Town Hall last year to reflect our commitment -- and the Commerce Department commitment to the bottom-up, multistakeholder model of DNS management. The public forum is an important part of ensuring that .US continues to be a vibrant namespace that reflects America's diversity, creativity, and innovative spirit. more»

The .nyc High-Bid Auctions

There were highs and lows in city hall's rollout of the .nyc TLD last month. Early on we were cheered when we received notification that our application for the domain name had been approved. And with the de Blasio Administration committed to putting the city's 350+ neighborhood domain names under the control of local residents, we began to imagine that our decade-old vision of an "intuitive" city Internet might materialize... more»

Google Launches Corporate Blog 'The Keyword' on .Google Domain

As momentum builds in the world of .brands, there are some major players we as an industry have been watching closely for an indication of how their branded TLDs will become part of their digital strategies. .brand websites like these from high-profile tech leaders and influencers can be the best publicity for brand TLDs as a whole; as their involvement and buy-in acts as a significant endorsement of the .brand movement. more»

A Look at New gTLDs Numbers… We're Doing Good

Like it or not, new gTLDs are here and they're here to stay. If it is still common to read that the ICANN new gTLD program was a failure and few users are using new domain names, numbers show the opposite. I recently read very rude critics addressed to new gTLD applicants but surprisingly, critics often come from ".com" investors and my understanding of this is that new domain names lower their margins ...since the domain name offer is now larger. more»

SEO and New dot Brand gTLDs

According to a recent study carried out by Custora in the USA, search engines -- paid and organic -- represent close to 50% of e-commerce orders, compared to 20% for direct entry. A dot brand domain has the potential to boost direct entry, as it can be more memorable than traditional domains. Can dot brand domains also be part of a consistent search engine strategy? more»

Observation from Seminar on IANA Function Stewardship Transition Held by CAICT

On August 16 of 2016, the US Government announced its intention to transit the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function to the multistakeholder community upon the expiration of the IANA function Contract as of October 1 of 2016, barring any significant impediment... This announcement attracts the close attention of Internet community around the world and also in China. more»

Domain Name Association Supports IANA Transition, Petitions Congress to Move Forward

I recently sent a letter to congressional leaders including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid expressing the Domain Name Association's support of the U.S. Administration's planned transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the global multi-stakeholder community under the stewardship of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). more»

Refutation of the Worst IANA Transition FUD

Of all the patently false and ridiculous articles written this month about the obscure IANA transition which has become an issue of leverage in the partisan debate over funding the USG via a Continuing Resolution, this nonsense by Theresa Payton is the most egregiously false and outlandish. As such, it demands a critical, nearly line by line response. more»

Protecting Online Access to Safe and Affordable Medication

High drug prices are a global public health crisis. This is mostly the case among lower income countries but also for citizens and residents in the U.S, where tens of millions are not filling prescriptions due to cost. The international online marketplace is a much-needed lifeline for consumers who cannot afford prescription medication where they live. People deserve the widest possible access to safe and affordable medication, including online access, and the Internet community can help. more»

.brand Delegated? Now Comes the Fun Part

A little over a year ago I wrote a series of articles to help guide those with a .brand TLD through the delegation process. After ICANN's recent push for .brands to delegate, the majority are now across the line. There would be many organizations out there currently feeling like first time parents who've just brought a newborn home from the hospital -- it's been a long process already, and the hard work hasn't even begun. more» or

In a development that few people will notice but is interesting to us domain geeks, Apple is in the process of retiring its domain in favor of Apple is not going to shed light on why it is making this migration. I suspect that anything to take traffic off the .com domain is never a bad idea. Perhaps Apple has a long-term vision for making its News app web-accessible (instead of locked within an app). more»

The .Corp, .Home & .Mail Quandary

On 24 August, fifteen applicants for the .corp, .home, or .mail (CHM) new gTLDs sent a letter to the ICANN Board asking for action on the stalled process of the their applications. This points to the answer for the question I asked in march of this year: Whatever happened with namespace collision issues and the gTLD Round of 2012. As the letter from the applicants indicates, ICANN has done little to deal with issues concerned with namespace collisions in the last 2 years. Is it now time for action? more»

News Briefs

Google Announces Nomulus, Open Source Top-Level Domain Name Registry

.COM Registrations Continue to Rise, Unphased by New gTLDs, ICANN Study Reveals

Close to 7.9 Million Domain Names Registered in Q2 2016

AusRegistry Celebrates 30th Anniversary of .au

ICANN Confirms: .WEB Sold for Record Breaking $135 at Auction

ICANN Report Shows Few Trademark Holders Using gTLD Sunrise Period

ICANN Sued in an Attempt to Block .WEB Auction

ICANN Publishes gTLD Statistics and Trends Report, Asks for Community Feedback

12 Million New Domains Registered in Frist Quarter 2016, Total Domains Reach 326.4 Million Worldwide

Rightside Rejects Donuts' Unsolicited $70 Million Proposal, Says Undervalues Business

ICANN to Extend Verisign .COM Registry Contract for Another Six Years

Sweden Makes its TLD Zone File Publicly Available

WordPress Announces New .BLOG TLD, to be Available This Year

Hong Kong Billionaire Richard Li Becomes First Person to Own a TLD Matching His Name

Series of New African TLDs Fail to Go Live, Get Termination Notice from ICANN

Next Round of New TLDs May Not Happen Until 2020, Says ICANN

WIPO Reports Rise in Cybersquatting Cases, Triggered by New gTLDs

PIR Invites Bids for .Org Back-End Operations

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

ICANN Denies .GAY's Request for Reconsideration

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