Posts Tagged ‘ccTLD’

ARI Registry Services responds to Roland LaPlante

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

By Adrian Kinderis

Contrary to claims made by Afilias CMO Roland LaPlante (CircleID – 21 October 2011), current generic Top-Level Domain (gTLDs) Registries have no real technical or commercial advantage at operating a new Top-Level Domain (TLD) because existing gTLDs are currently only required to comply with a small subset of the requirements of the new TLD program.

Mr LaPlante argues that potential applicants should question Registry providers about which gTLDs they currently support because he suggests that “ICANN-contracted gTLDs operate under more stringent — and public — requirements than other TLDs.”

This statement is fundamentally wrong.

The new TLD program is setting a precedent within the industry for the best practice performance, operation and policy requirements of a generic TLD namespace that is governed by ICANN. Through the Applicant Guidebook, ICANN has created a completely new approach to operating a generic TLD and it contains multiple requirements that do not exist within current gTLDs. These additions include:

•    Rights Protection Mechanisms – Trademark Clearinghouse & Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS)
•    Mandatory abuse measures
•    Policy establishment requirements
•    Stricter eligibility (considering community based TLDs)
•    Government and law enforcement recommendations

To put it simply, current gTLDs have little in common with new TLDs.

Furthermore, Mr LaPlante’s attack on country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) is weak and without basis. Talk to auDA (the .au regulator), InternetNZ (the .nz regulator) and Nominet (.uk regulator), and I am sure they would be appalled to hear the view that their TLDs were managed with less stringent public policy development frameworks than existing gTLDs.

In fact, some restricted policy ccTLDs already incorporate features of the new TLD program that gTLDs such as .com, .info or .net currently fail to address. For instance, most viable ccTLDs already have strict rights protection and abuse measures in place. They also have a strong emphasis on stakeholder involvement and operate under increased scrutiny by governments and law enforcement.

The reality is that many ccTLDs perform the same role as gTLDs, except they do this within the confines of many more restrictions and policies, such as those found in the new TLD program. It is false to claim that gTLDs operate under more stringent requirements simply because they have a contract with ICANN and publish monthly reports about their registry operation.

Regardless of existing credentials or experience, the point is that new TLDs come with a set of requirements that currently don’t exist in any namespace and many of these are still yet to be fleshed out by ICANN (take the Trademark Clearing House for example).

It’s important to remember that one of ICANN’s primary goals in developing the new TLD program was to find a way to facilitate entry for new Registry operators entering the market. ICANN is attempting to introduce competition and they have done so in such a way that potential applicants do not even need to partner with a Registry Services Provider, let alone a gTLD provider in order to operate a new TLD Registry. While existing Registry Operators will deliver a superior solution (usually at a cost benefit) to those entities that do not wish to perform the technical function themselves, this choice is left with the applicant. ICANN will not give applicants any extra points for choosing an existing provider, despite what the propaganda might say.

It is true that not all TLD Registry Services Providers are created equal. There are good providers and there are ordinary providers. Each has different qualities and credentials. Unfortunately, operating an existing gTLD Registry is not one that holds relevance to the success or failure of your new TLD.

The fact of the matter is no one has ever operated a new TLD and we are all new to this world.

What you need to ask your provider is not their experience with existing gTLD registries, but their understanding of the program, its new requirements, the Applicant Guidebook and how they will technically support your specific requirements.

Clearly some providers don’t seem to understand that it will be a new world, which to me suggests that perhaps they don’t understand the program as much as they would have you believe.

By Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services

Russia’s Cyrillic IDN ccTLD blasts off through the 500K mark in under a week

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

Since last Thursday’s launch of Russia’s Cyrillic script IDN ccTLD, registration volumes have smashed all expectations, much like a Soyuz rocket blasting off into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

At the time of writing (14:00 17/11/2010 UTC), .рф, which is Cyrillic for RF (short for Российская Федерация – Russian Federation) has just exceeded 500,000 registrations, having passed the 100,000 mark in the first three hours. It is already among the top 30 ccTLDs worldwide and heading towards the top 20 at high speed. Andrei Kolesnikov, Director of ccTLD.ru, the organisation that manages both .рф and Russia’s ASCII script .ru ccTLD, said last week that he expected there would be ‘as many as 100,000’ domains registered in .рф by the end of 2010. Clearly, he was somewhat conservative with this projection! Less than two months after .ru joined the 3 million club, it is far from idle speculation to now start thinking about when .рф will overtake its older sibling.

It is also worth considering that the other recent TLD launch that has attracted significant registration volumes – the launch of second-level registrations under Colombia’s .co – took two months to hit the half million mark. .рф managed that feat in only six days.

Registrations in .рф are restricted to Russian citizens and Russian-registered businesses and are priced at the same level as for .ru. RU Center – the largest Registrar in Russia – are selling both .ru and .рф for 600 Rubles, a shade under US$20.00 at current exchange rates. There are a total of 26 registrars currently accredited for .рф. The .рф string was selected in preference to a direct transliteration of ‘RU’ which would be ‘PY’ in Cyrillic, due to potential visual conflict with Paraguay’s existing .py ASCII script ccTLD.

According to ccTLD.ru, the most popular letters in the addresses registered in the first hour were ы and я — Cyrillic characters with no equivalent in the Roman script. Clearly, the demand for domain names including these characters has been building since the internet became an everyday phenomenon in Russia.

Even if we assume that a large proportion of registrations are speculative at this early stage, the launch of .рф cannot be regarded as anything but a huge success. This success proves that there is real community demand for native script Top-Level Domains, and bodes well for the prospects of other IDN Top-Level Domains, in both the ccTLD and gTLD contexts. It can also been seen as a vindication of the ICANN Board’s decision to proceed with the IDN ccTLD program on a ‘Fast Track’, ahead of the finalisation of the new gTLD program, due to a perception of strong demand, particularly from the Russian and Chinese language communities. The reality of that demand has now been conclusively established.

As Milton Mueller pointed out back in 2007, the Fast Track program has created an opportunity for IDN ccTLDs to establish themselves in the market before the introduction of a wave of new gTLDs, which will likely include dozens, if not hundreds of IDN gTLDs covering dozens of scripts.

We look forward with eager anticipation to the launch of other IDN ccTLDs, including Qatar’s قطر. which was recently approved for delegation by the ICANN Board. To date, ICANN have approved 34 IDN ccTLD strings, from 21 countries and covering 13 different scripts. 15 of these 34 strings have been delegated into the root. See ICANN’s String Evaluation Completion page for the full list.

AusRegistry International is the Domain Name Registry Software and Services provider for the United Arab Emirates’ .ae and امارات. (.emarat) ccTLDs and for Qatar’s .qa and قطر. (.qatar) ccTLDs.

URL shorteners, domain hacks and quasi-gTLDs: what are ccTLDs really about?

Friday, October 15th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

The Twitterverse is awash with catchy URL shortening services, which allow what would otherwise be long URLs to fit within the strict character limit of individual Tweets. Before the Twitter phenomenon really took hold, tinyurl.com was one of the more popular services; now much shorter options are available, using various ccTLDs which have the significant advantage of being only two characters after the dot.

Some of the more high-profile recent examples include Twitter’s t.co, Google’s goo.gl, Facebook’s fb.me and US National Public Radio’s n.pr. For the ccTLDs concerned, these domain names represent invaluable exposure to a global audience and are probably one of the single most effective marketing initiatives they will undertake.

Similarly, the popularity of domain hacks, one form of which involves ignoring the dot to spell out a brand or word – examples include del.icio.us and blo.gs – offer another opportunity for showcasing a ccTLD to a potentially global audience.

The promotional opportunity is particularly attractive for smaller ccTLDs. Greenland’s .gl and South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands’ .gs are not ccTLDs that receive much, if any, attention from outsiders, except perhaps from the most diligent Trademark attorneys at some of the world’s largest corporations.

Chasing the promotional benefits of URL-shortening services and domain hacks is not without its risks however, as Libya has recently discovered. The bit.ly URL service is one of the most popular in use within the Twitterverse, and has given Libya’s .ly ccTLD a significant global profile. Other URL shortening services have followed bit.ly’s lead, including vb.ly, which was pitched with the following tag line:

The Internet’s first and only sex-positive link shortener service, meaning links are not filtered or groomed, and we’ll never pull your links because we decided to become “family friendly” .

It was rather naive to expect that a socially conservative country such as Libya would not have an issue with a website that portrays itself in these terms, and it was therefore unsurprising that NIC.LY last month revoked the vb.ly domain name, citing concerns that the service was not in keeping with Sharia Law. They have also revised the registration policy for .ly to restrict registrations of less than four characters to locally-registered entities, thereby effectively preventing any new URL shortening services from using the .ly ccTLD.

It is of course NIC.LY’s right to manage their ccTLD in a way that suits the specific legal and cultural realities of contemporary Libyan society, as it is for all other ccTLD Managers. Those that wish to take advantage of the combination of short domain names at relatively low cost for use with URL shorteners should therefore consider carefully which ccTLD they choose to utilise for this purpose.

There are of course many countries that have chosen to leverage their luck in the ccTLD lottery by re-purposing their ccTLD as quasi-gTLDs and offering them on an unrestricted basis to the global market. These include Tuvalu’s .tv, American Samoa’s .as (AS is an abbreviation of a common company type in some European countries), Niue’s .nu (Nu means ‘now’ in Dutch, Danish and Swedish), and more recently, Montenegro’s .me and Colombia’s .co.

The attractions of such a move are obvious for countries with a memorable ccTLD, a very small population and few other sources of income, as the re-purposing of their ccTLD represents an opportunity to earn valuable export income.

The number of ccTLDs that are in a position to follow suit is however very limited, particularly with the spectre of hundreds of new gTLDs on the horizon.

Somalia is about to launch their .so ccTLD to the global market, and while I expect that it will be moderately successful, it is unlikely to achieve the hundreds of thousands of registrations seen in some other re-purposed ccTLDs, at least for the foreseeable future. The publicity generated by the Libyan registry’s recent crackdown is also likely to give many potential registrants pause for thought about the longer-term prospects for a ccTLD governed by a country that suffers from endemic political instability.

Even one of the most successful re-purposed ccTLDs, Tuvalu’s .tv – operated by Verisign since 2000 under a long-term arrangement with the Tuvalu Government – is failing to live up to some expectations within Tuvalu, despite accounting for close to 10% of the Government’s total revenue (see the Australia Network’s article: Threat to Tuvalu’s proud domain).

Governments and national regulators that are considering the future of their ccTLDs should therefore be careful to avoid being dazzled by the windfall revenue gains that going after the global market may appear to offer. It is highly unlikely that we will again see a ccTLD achieve the success of the recent launch of second-level registrations under .co, which has reached over half a million names in a few short months. For the vast majority of ccTLDs, focusing on the needs of their local market will instead be the most appropriate course of action, particularly over the longer term.

The benefits to be gained from the development of local ccTLD infrastructure, and the skills and expertise required to operate it, will be significant in capacity-building terms and should form the basis for nurturing a sustainable local internet industry. A dynamic local internet industry will help to bridge the digital divide and promote the myriad of social and economic opportunities that the internet has to offer.

Similarly, implementing policies developed in conjunction with local stakeholders and appropriate to the local legal, cultural and economic situation, along with effective awareness campaigns and marketing activities should help to ensure that the local ccTLD becomes the TLD of choice for local businesses and organisations.

ICANN’s new gTLD program however has the potential to overwhelm many ccTLDs that are yet to establish themselves as the TLD of choice in their local market, with hundreds of new TLDs expected to be introduced, likely from around early 2012.

The already highly competitive global market is therefore about to become even more so. Those considering the future of their ccTLD should be mindful of this in their planning activities and should ensure they focus on sustainable, local outcomes.

The Window of Opportunity for ccTLDs

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

The announcement that .co has already achieved over 450,000 new registrations since the opening up of the second-level a month ago demonstrates that there is strong demand in the global domain name marketplace for quality new domain spaces.

Though .co is the country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for Colombia, the second-level registrations (ie company.co) are available on a global basis and it is being pitched as a direct competitor to the dominant .com gTLD. Google has altered its algorithm to increase the relevance of search results in the .co domain by treating .co as a gTLD and allowing .co website owners to specify the geographic regions they are targeting.  Though .CO Internet has the freedom enjoyed by all ccTLDs of not having to operate under ICANN’s policy framework, they have elected to adopt policies that very closely match that framework, including the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

The launch of second-level registrations under .co therefore represents, to all intents and purposes, a new gTLD launch, and appears to be a popular alternative to .com for both large corporations and small businesses, at least at this early stage.  Overstock’s purchase of o.co for US$350,000 shows a high degree of confidence in the new .co brand, and Twitter has also joined their list of high-profile anchor tenants, launching t.co as a secure URL shortening service.  Anecdotal evidence also suggests that small businesses are taking the opportunity to secure names within this new space that they had been unable to register in .com or other spaces.

The .co launch is just the latest in a long line of examples of the opportunistic repositioning of ccTLDs to compete in the global market against the ‘official’ gTLDs.  Colombia, like Montenegro (.me) and Tuvalu (.tv) and a number of others are simply leveraging their luck in the two character assignment lottery by opening up their ccTLD to the world.  Both Colombia and Montenegro have however tried to maintain the best of both worlds by reserving third-level registrations (such as .com.co and .co.me) for local entities, thereby providing trusted and dedicated domain spaces for the domestic market, while reaping the benefits of having a desirable ccTLD extension by opening up the second-level to the world.

Despite the fact that they are globally-focused and effectively gTLDs, the success of .co and .me highlights the market opportunity that currently exists for other ccTLDs that are yet to establish a clear market position.  Of course, the vast majority of countries do not have the opportunity to reposition themselves as gTLDs to chase the global market, and in most cases there will be a clear preference to focus on the needs of the local market.

A report (PDF) released by Eurid (the .eu Registry) in June highlights the power that well-established and effectively managed ccTLDs can exert in their local markets.  In Sweden, for example, the local .se ccTLD scored nearly 100% in terms of awareness and 49% for preference, compared with only 34% for .com.  Similar rankings are likely to be enjoyed by other well-established ccTLDs, and we’ve seen similar numbers in relation to the position of .au in Australia.

Many ccTLDs however face a raft of challenges that are preventing them from achieving anything like this sort of local market position.  These challenges can include the absence of local control, legacy systems, inefficient registration processes and restrictive policies, as well as a general lack of local capacity.

When ICANN’s new gTLD program finally comes to fruition (likely towards the latter part of 2011), there will be a dramatic increase in choice for prospective domain name registrants across all regions and language groups.  Those ccTLDs that are yet to position themselves as the pre-eminent domain space and default choice in their local markets therefore have a finite window of opportunity in which to do so, to ensure that they are not consigned to relative obscurity in the face of dozens of new Top Level Domains.

By the way, Your IDN is live

Friday, May 7th, 2010

By Adrian Kinderis

Just when you think ICANN has got it right, it shoots itself in the foot as only ICANN can.

Unfortunately it seems this is yet another case of one step forward and two steps back.

While we should be celebrating the fact that Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) have finally been entered into the Root Zone, we are instead left shaking our heads at the seemingly nonexistent process lines nor communication lines between ICANN and its technical off-shoot IANA.

Before I delve into the embarrassing incompetency of IANA, let us not lose sight of the overall achievement. IDNs have been championed by many people both at a technical and administrative level – not the least of which is Tina Dam, Senior Director of IDNs at ICANN and her team.  They are an excellent example of tireless dedication and professionalism and Tina herself has devoted a large part of her ICANN career to ensure that IDNs are successfully implemented. She and all those who have worked on this massive body of work should be proud of their efforts. It is a monumental achievement and will be an impressive legacy.

The events of yesterday must have disappointed them greatly.

So what has me (and many others) ticked off? Well read on…

It is my understanding that the responsible IANA staff member failed to provide prior notification to the relevant ccTLD Managers that these names were about to be entered into the Root Zone.  While that is a very significant concern in its own right, I was alarmed to discover that the relevant ccTLD Managers were only notified many hours after the fact, long after the same IANA staff member had broadcast the news on a personal Twitter account, and even, I believe, after posting an update on the ICANN blog.

IANA staff seem to have viewed this as simply another technical update, which they were at liberty to publicise as they saw fit, without first having the courtesy to inform the most directly affected stakeholders.

This was an inappropriate manner in which to announce an event of this importance. It displays a disturbing lack of understanding and a complete disregard of the cultural and political significance of this event within the Arabic world.

I believe that IANA should take a more coordinated approach to all of its responsibilities, particularly to the addition of new TLDs to the Root Zone, to ensure that the requesting parties are given sufficient prior notice before changes are made.  This is of particular importance in a case such as this where multiple TLDs are being added simultaneously.  It is not clear, for example, whether IANA staff were even aware that this change took place during the middle of the weekend in one of the affected countries. Did they even care to check?

With a further 18 IDN ccTLDs in progress towards delegation, and the prospect of hundreds of new gTLDs to be delegated when the new gTLD program comes to fruition, it is critical that IANA’s communication and coordination procedures be carefully planned and considerate of the needs of the affected TLD Managers.

For me, the fact that certain IANA staff feel it is appropriate to put ‘I run the DNS root zone’ on their Twitter profile, says it all.  Just because you run it doesn’t mean you own it. This cozy university mentality is simply not good enough for an organisation running the most critical component of the global communications network. Your technical function, like it or not, has much broader implications.

Put simply, there is an attitude of arrogance at IANA that they will work to their timelines, and so must we. In this instance, the occasion was bigger than them. To the countries involved, countries with which we are working very closely, it was much more. This marks an historically significant achievement and advancement of the Internet in their communities.

Instead of allowing them the opportunity to celebrate their achievement they have been left to scuttle around and attempt to pull together press releases and notify the appropriate representatives of their countries. Not giving them an appropriate “heads up” and therefore making them look underprepared is unforgiveable – especially when you had previously provided an indication of “up to a month” before these delegations would occur. IANA has shown little respect for their key stakeholders and it simply isn’t good enough.

For what it is worth, congratulations to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from the team at AusRegistry International. You can be sure that we respect your efforts and achievements as much more than a simple entry into the Root Zone. We wish you every success.

First .emarat Arabic script domain name is live!

Friday, May 7th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

The .emarat Arabic script Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) ccTLD for the United Arab Emirates has been entered into the DNS Root Zone and is therefore now resolving.

This is a truly historic moment in the development of the Internet in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Arabic-speaking world as it removes the last hurdle preventing people without English-language skills from enjoying the full benefits that the Internet has to offer.

‘.emarat’ is a transliteration of امارات. (note that Arabic is read from right to left).

The first Arabic script domain name is:  عربي.اماراتwhich is transliterated as arabi.emarat.

The deployment of امارات. (.emarat) to the Root Zone represents the culmination of a process that has been ongoing for over a decade, involving tireless work by hundreds of individuals and organisations around the world to extend the support of Domain Name System from the 37 characters previously allowed (the 26 characters of the English alphabet, the digits 0-9 and the hyphen ‘-‘) to the thousands of characters from every language around the world.

The introduction of .emarat highlights AusRegistry International’s commitment to provide full support for the IDNA2008 standard into their Domain Name Registry Software, which has been implemented to enable the .emarat Registry System.

We are honoured to be supporting the launch of امارات. (.emarat), through our partnership with the .ae Domain Administration (aeDA) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE.  In addition to providing the Domain Name Registry Software, AusRegistry International is also providing consultancy assistance for the launch processes involved in bringing this historic new ccTLD into the market.

As part of the launch of امارات. (.emarat), a Sunrise Period will be held, to allow provide trademark holders an opportunity to protect their rights in this new Top Level Domain.  Following the Sunrise Period, a Landrush Period will be conducted to allow for the registration of high-demand generic domain names.

In addition to امارات. (.emarat), two other Arabic script IDN ccTLDs have also been added to the Root Zone:

السعودية. (.alsaudiah) representing Saudi Arabia

مصر. (.masr) representing Egypt

We would like to extend our congratulations to our friends and colleagues in the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, for reaching this exciting and important milestone.

A fourth IDN ccTLD, .рф (Cyrillic for ‘rf’) representing the Russian Federation is expected to be added to the Root Zone very shortly

ICANN to hold webinars on Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

Friday, April 9th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

Next week, ICANN will be holding two webinars to discuss the Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs.

Synchronized IDN ccTLDs are those where there are two variations of a particular script in common usage, and an expectation on the part of users that they will be able to use either variation to navigate to a particular website or other resource.

The most obvious example is Chinese, which has both Traditional and Simplified variations in common usage.  China and Taiwan have requested both variations of their IDN ccTLDs to be delegated.

The Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs will determine the operational rules which will be the basis on which those delegations will be approved.  It is ICANN’s intention that Synchronized IDN ccTLDs will function as interchangeably as possible, though they will in a technical sense be separate delegations.

AusRegistry International is a leading provider of IDN-enabled Domain Name Registry Software and associated services and is actively assisting a number of ccTLD Managers around the world to implement their IDN ccTLDs.  For more information about our IDN-related services, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

ICANN has extended the Public Comment period for this Proposed Implementation Plan until 17th April.

The webinars will be conducted next Thursday, 15th April at 0100 UTC and 1400 UTC.

Links
Webinar details
Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs
Questions & Answers (Q&A)
Public Comment website

ICANN opens applications for IDN ccTLD Fast Track Program

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

By Jon Lawrence

In an unprecedented move to truly open up the internet to a global audience, ICANN has today opened the application process for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Program. Organisations representing countries that use non-latin scripts can now apply to ICANN to have their full country name, an abbreviation or other representation of their country name delegated as a Top Level Domain using their native script.

This program is an historic step forward in terms of inclusiveness for those countries that use non-latin scripts and will be a crucial step towards the bridging of the digital divide in these countries.

Given AusRegistry International’s unique position of having a fully functional, purpose built Domain Name Registry System based on the IDNA 2008 protocol, we are excited about the opportunity to work with our existing clients on their IDN ccTLD Fast Track applications. We also look forward to the opportunity of assisting other potential IDN ccTLD Managers with a range of Consultancy and Technical services that are designed to assist with all aspects of the application and implementation process.

Please Contact Us for more information about how AusRegistry International can assist with IDN ccTLD Fast Track applications.

For more information about the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Program, please see ICANN’s IDN ccTLD Fast Track page.

AusRegistry International joins AfTLD

Monday, October 5th, 2009

By Jon Lawrence

Last week, AusRegistry International became the first Associate Member of the African Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD).

AfTLD is an industry group set up to provide a forum for the discussion of policy and the sharing of ideas and best practice among African ccTLD Managers and to provide representation within ICANN and other global internet governance forums. AfTLD currently has 18 full members, representing a range of countries from all corners of the African continent.

As an Associate Member, we look forward to sharing our significant ccTLD expertise and experience with other AfTLD members, to assist with capacity building and the ongoing development of Policy standards, Administrative processes and Technical infrastructure throughout the African ccTLD community.

In addition to becoming an Associate Member, AusRegistry International is sponsoring the West Africa Francophone ccTLD workshop, to be held in Dakar, Senegal from 7 -12 December 2009. This workshop, to be hosted by the Senegalese Network Information Center (NIC-SN) and Agence de Regulation des Telecommunication et des Postes (ARTP-Senegal) will provide technical training to French-speaking staff from newly re-delegated ccTLDs in the region and forms part of AfTLD’s ongoing capacity building program.

For more information, see the AfTLD website.

APTLD calls on ICANN to finalise IDN ccTLD Fast Track process

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

By Jon Lawrence

Jonathan Shea, the Chair of the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association (APTLD) has written to Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the ICANN Board, urging that the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Implementation Plan be ‘finalised and approved with no more delay’.

Shea’s letter, dated 31st August, addresses the three issues that are of primary concern to much of the ccTLD community:

– he repeats earlier calls from both the ccNSO and GAC that, due to the non-profit nature of many ccTLD registries, the proposed fees should not be mandatory;
– similarly, he urges that formal agreements between ICANN and IDN ccTLD Managers should be voluntary, and;
– he demands that IDN variant strings must be delegated to the same IDN ccTLD Manager, who should have ‘the prerogative to deploy both the normal and variant strings to meet the needs of the local community’.

AusRegistry International is an Associate member of APTLD and we support the Association’s call for the IDN Fast Track Program to be finalised as soon as possible.

As reported in our review of the recent APTLD meeting, we understand that ICANN staff are working towards having the Implementation Plan ready for a Board vote at the next ICANN meeting in Seoul, in late October.

We, along with our clients in the ccTLD community, very much hope that the Implementation Plan will be ready for the Seoul meeting and that the Board will approve it.

See APTLD’s letter to ICANN (pdf).