Top-Level Domains

Top-Level Domains / Recently Commented

Next gTLD Round - A Seven Year Itch?

Five years ago today, the ICANN Board committed to opening a second application window for the New gTLD Program as expeditiously as possible. The same resolution also directed the ICANN CEO to publish a document describing the work plan required prior to initiating a second application window. Ask a Board member or ICANN staff when they expect the next application window to open, and they will inevitably suggest 2020 -- another three years away. more»

Narcotics Traffic Is Not Part of a Healthy Domain System

A stack contrast is emerging within the DNS between providers who tolerate blatantly illegal domain use and those who do not. Our study, just published here focuses on five U.S.-based providers, their policies, and their response to reports of opioid traffic within their registry or registrar. There are many providers, not covered here, who removed hundreds of domains selling opioids and I applaud their efforts. more»

A Q&A on Google's New gTLD Solution, Nomulus

Nomulus is the code for the backend domain name registry solution offered by Google which requires the use of Google Cloud. This solution is the one used for all of Google's new gTLDs and the solution works. An announcement for this solution can look like a potentially "simple" solution for future .BRAND new gTLD applicants, but is it truly the case? more»

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more»

Is 2017 Crunch Time for the Domain Industry?

Verisign's spent the best part of 2016 putting out warnings. The .COM operator and domain industry heavyweight highlighted its Q3 earnings report with a stern "Ending Q4 '16 Domain Name Base expected to decrease by between 1.5M to 2.8M registrations from the end of Q3 '16". A forecast which the company said was based on "on historical seasonality and current market trends." As 2016 drew to a close, the downturn seemed to materialize... more»

Confusing New gTLDs

Choosing the right domain name is like choosing a Trademark, it has to be taken seriously because it is a long time image investment. If new gTLDs have brought new options to those in charge of creating a name (precision, availability, novelty) and registering its (their) domain name(s), they also brought the possibility to make a terrible mistake when choosing the right extension for a domain name. more»

Overseas TLD Registries Licensed by Chinese Government

It was reported that .XYZ, .CLUB and .VIP have obtained official license from the Chinese government. The approval notices can be found on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ("MIIT"), the domain name regulator in China. It is the first batch of overseas top-level domains (TLD) being officially approved. Previously, only two legacy TLDs -- .COM and .NET -- have been issued such approval. The "green light" means that Chinese registrars are able to sell these domains legally in China. more»

Court Dismisses .Web Lawsuit, Says Agreement Not to Sue Is Enforceable

"Judge Percy Anderson of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California has granted ICANN's motion to dismiss in a lawsuit brought by a subsidiary of new TLD company Donuts," reports Andrew Allemann in Domain Name Wire. more»

Brand Top-Level Domain and Brand Value

Brands are an asset and have a value for organizations, as they generate revenue: Customers are happy to pay a premium for a brand they love. They will show a preference and be loyal to a brand they trust. There are various ways to estimate the value of a brand. An excellent point of reference is Interbrand, which for many years has followed the top 100 brands and publishes their value based on a combination of three factors. more»

Afilias' Cynical Attempt to Secure a Windfall at Community Expense

On Friday, October 28, Afilias issued a public statement urging the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to nullify the results of its July 27, 2016 public auction for the .web new generic top level domain (gTLD) -- in which Nu Dotco, LLC (NDC) submitted the highest bid for .web -- and disqualify NDC from participation in the .web contention. The real issue here is whether ICANN should enforce the results of a fair and competitive public auction... more»

.WEB is ICANN's First Test of Accountability

Last month, in a much heralded international event, the agreement that ICANN held with the United States Department of Commerce was permitted to lapse and so ICANN became an independent manager of the Internet's addressing system. While some argued that the organization was not "ready" for the transition, the majority of ICANN's multi-stakeholder community, including Afilias, agreed that sufficient accountability measures were in place to ensure that ICANN remains a responsible (and responsive) international organization. more»

High-Bid Auctions Deflate the .nyc TLD

Our hope for an intuitive and trusted .nyc TLD took a hit today when 20 domain names were sold to 10 bidders in city's first high-bid auction. While the city refers to these as "premium" names, we think of them as heritage names. With our city-TLD's success predicated on its utility and predictability, this first of perhaps 25 auctions bodes poorly on its chances. More on that in a bit, but first some details on the auction. more»

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»

2017, Year of Consolidation for Domain Name Market, AFNIC Study Suggests

AFNIC, the domain name registry for .rf (France), recently conducted a study of major trends for "Legacy gTLDs" or traditional TLDs such as .biz, .com, info, etc., as well as country code TLDs corresponding to territories such as .de (Germany), .fr (France), and .uk (United Kingdom). The new TLDs have note been included in this study since they are still something of a "new development", but will be included in the future, AFNIC says. 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»