New TLD Discussions and the Response to Obama in Cairo

Phil Lodico ⬥ 7 November

It’s a beautiful day in Cairo…sunny and hot.

Since I left for Cairo before the ballots were counted on Tuesday, I’ve yet to see the US response to Obama’s recent win first-hand, but the sentiment here is quite positive. I spoke with a local Egyptian business owner last night and he told me that he followed our election even more closely than most Americans probably did. Another Egyptian man wearing an Obama 2008 shirt ran up to us in the market to us to ask about the election. Most here are excited and hopeful for the future.

I’ve heard from many readers that they are most interested in hearing news about the launch of new TLDs from this ICANN meeting. Following are a few quick points to share from recent conversations here:

  • ICANN explained the makeup of the proposed $185k: $100k in validation costs, $25k towards costs incurred already, and $60k for risk.
  • It appears that the price for a new TLD application will be decreased to about $150k.
  • There are indications that discounts will be offered to TLD applicants who are interested in the same name in multiple languages. For example, the costs for dot-MUSIC in 4 IDN character sets would be less than $600k (4 times the anticipated $150k individual TLD application fee). As a result, parties interested in applying for any TLD should take into account the fact that IDNs will be allowed as new TLDs.
  • Two character TLDs will not be allowed.
  • Because of the interest in community-based TLDs, it appears that the restrictions to apply as such may be lessened somewhat. When there are conflicting applications, ones for community-based TLDs will have the greatest chance of success.
  • I’ve had many conversations with companies who can assist in providing the back-end registry services. While many are new to the registry space and thus not viable options, there are a few well-established companies that I’ve been impressed with. I’m still working through the specifics on what offering is the best fit for brand owners, but the services provided by some of these companies combined with our internal expertise on the application process will enable us to assist with any TLD questions that might arise in the coming weeks and months.

The GNSO restructuring, Fast Flux, and .TEL were also widely discussed and debated at the meeting. There is a great deal of work to do and I hope that we can all work together in the New Year to improve this space.

The board wraps up its meeting today and then the Nominating Committee, which I am part of, starts its sessions this afternoon. I’ll be back in DC next week and will gladly provide additional details on ICANN’s activities for those who are interested. 

Tags: .TEL, brand, Cairo, Fast Flux, GNSO, ICANN, IDNs, New Year, Nominating Committee, Obama, registry services, TLDs

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