Archive for August, 2009

Review of APTLD meeting in Beijing

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By Jon Lawrence

As mentioned previously, AusRegistry International staff attended the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association (APTLD) Members meeting held in Beijing last week (20th and 21st of August).

The meeting, hosted by CNNIC (the .CN registry), was attended by over 50 people representing ccTLDs from around the region as well as a number of associate members and representatives from ICANN.  CNNIC were warm and gracious hosts and on the first evening attendees enjoyed an interesting tour of the Summer Palace followed by some impressive local entertainment and a traditional Chinese banquet.

Highlights of the conference included:
•     a status update on the IDN ccTLD Fast Track program from ICANN
•    an update from the Chinese Domain Name Consortium (CDNC) on the issue of IDN variants
•    presentations from members on various topics including DNSSEC and the Conficker worm

AusRegistry International presentations
AusRegistry International staff also presented to the conference on two topics:
•    Jon Lawrence presented Implementing an IDN Registry
•    CEO Adrian Kinderis presented How to write an RFP

IDN ccTLD Fast Track update – ICANN
The update from ICANN’s Tina Dam on the IDN ccTLD Fast Track program indicated that they are working to finalise the remaining outstanding issues to facilitate a vote by the ICANN Board at the Seoul ICANN meeting in October 2009.  Should that vote be successful, ICANN Staff are working to have the first batch of IDN ccTLDs live in Q4 of 2009.

This is great news for our international ccTLD clients who are eagerly awaiting the ability to implement their new IDN TLD via the Fast Track process. Many are currently trialling our recently completed IDN Registry Platform in preparation for ‘go-live’.

IDN Variants – CDNC
Lucy Wang gave an interesting presentation on behalf of the CDNC on the issue of Handling of Variants.  In this she argued for the implementation of variants at the root level due to their importance, particularly within the Chinese language community.

This is a topic close to our heart as our international ccTLD clients work through the process of how to best resolve and/or block names in their registries to ensure the easy adoption and clear end user understanding with IDN domain names. We look forward to reviewing ICANN staff’s approach to dealing with this tricky subject.

To review the other presentations from the meeting please visit the APTLD website.

What does it really cost to run a new gTLD?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

By Tony Kirsch

After visiting a number of clients around the globe over recent months, it seems that there is some confusion about the true costs of applying for, and then running a gTLD.
This is not surprising given that a lot of the press regarding the program highlights the USD 185,000 price tag to get your new TLD. However, these notifications fail to accurately inform potential applicants regarding the ‘additional’ components. In reality, getting the name is a relatively small part of the process and ICANN have set a very high bar for the components of:

a)    Organisational capability to protect Registrants from namespaces that run out of funding and leave domain name holders with nothing, and;

b)    Technical competence to ensure that the Registry functions protect Registrants and maintain ICANN’s mission of ensuring the stability and security of the DNS.

AusRegistry International fully supports ICANN’s stance on these matters, as our experience with managing TLD Registries has taught us that a robust and reliable Domain Name Registry takes a lot of effort and money. Fortunately for new TLD applicants, our experience also shows that once it’s done correctly, it is possible to build loyalty and trust from end users which ultimately enables you to build up a truly strong TLD as a long term asset.

Applying for and running a TLD is not a simple matter. However there is the potential of a large reward for those who introduce a successful TLD and those who approach the introduction of new TLDs with dedication and a responsible approach will be rewarded.

Points you may wish to consider when preparing to apply for your new TLD.

1.    Applying for your TLD may cost you more than USD 185,000.

USD185,000 covers your application fee and doesn’t cover other potential costs such as handling objections, extended evaluation fees or auctions if there are multiple groups trying to secure the same name. It’s best to be prepared to fight and make allowances in your business plan for this from the outset.

2.    You will have ongoing administration costs.

Have you considered your other costs like Data Escrow and your monthly fees to ICANN? You will require a minimum investment of at least another USD 30,000 per year and potentially more depending on the success of your namespace.

3.    You may need assistance in putting together your application.

You’re investing a lot of money in this project so it’s important to have the appropriate policies and business models in place. Don’t ignore the importance of leveraging from the skills of those with substantial industry insight. A little help will pay off in the long run and helps to avoid many of the hidden traps.

4.    You will need a Registry.

Contrary to some reports, getting the name doesn’t just start making you money. You need a reliable Registry System capable of handling the requirements of your namespace and meeting ICANN’s technical requirements. Applicants should ask of the Registry System:

•    Is it established and proven?
•    Can it handle the demand?
•    Will it provide advanced functionality to help you manage your namespace without expensive overheads?
•    Will it provide you with the ability to grow your namespace as you wish?
•    Does the Registry provide you with flexible billing models?
•    Will it pass ICANNs assessment of technical compliance?

All of these are very important factors for new TLD applicants to understand and can’t be ignored. For example, a serious Registry provider should be able to stand behind their products and services with confidence and allow the TLD applicant to focus on other key areas of the TLD such as marketing.

AusRegistry International are so confident in our Registry System, we will pay the USD 50,000 Technical Evaluation Fee to ICANN during the application phase for our clients if our Registry does not meet ICANNs requirements.

Realistic expectations when going into this type of new, entrepreneurial business is an important aspect to being successful and can only really be achieved with an understanding of all components that you are likely to face. This comes from experience.

However, don’t be scared away. Having your own TLD will provide you with an asset for a long time if you’re smart and careful about how you go about planning for your TLD Registry System and how you leverage from knowledge and experience that may be available to you.