Verisign to ICANN: not ready for new TLDs

Verisign claims insufficient preparation (mostly technical) for new top level domains.

Verisign has sent a report to ICANN (and filed it with the Securities and Exchange Commission) that basically says that the internet isn’t prepared new top level domains yet.

The report outlines multiple issues, ranging from automated TLD additions to the root (of which Verisign plays a role), lack of emergency backend providers, and lack of final plans for zone file and escrow.

From our perspective as a large-scale registry operator, it is apparent that the new gTLD timelines provide little accommodation for the operator aspects of the process. That is, given the information to date, it seems as though ICANN has taken a very ICANN-centric role in establishing these timeliness, and gave little consideration to the fact that registry operators would need to ingest requirements, implement, specifications, pilot internally, prepare to accommodate test cases, consider the security implications and change management functions required, etc. It actually appears as though there is little to no time allotted for operators to adequately prepare, and the lack of stable fundamental specifications and test plans within days of publicly stated testing times illustrates a clear disconnect between aspirational timelines with the New gTLD program and operational realities with which various stakeholders are constrained.

The report concludes with a warning:

Any party concerned with consumer and operator privacy, trust, confidence, and overall security of new gTLDs and the broader Internet would be well served by the ICANN Board addressing these issues as appropriate before delegating any new gTLDs, as the risk of a misstep in this direction could have far-reaching and long-lasting residual implications.

Earlier this evening Jeff Neuman, Vice President, Business Affairs at Neustar, Inc., tweeted:


Paul Stahura, co-founder of the largest TLD applicant Donuts, responded:

Stahura tweet

Verisign is also an applicant for new TLDs. It has applied for 14 new TLDs and is the backend provider on over 200 applications.

Regardless of the company’s motives, Verisign’s role managing the root zone and the .com registry means the report will carry credence in the internet community as a whole.


  1. says

    Although .whatever will not affect .com values it will affect Verisign. They will register liss .coms and nets per year. How could it not?

  2. says

    they are right, even the CEO of ICANN said he’d like to wait a year. they are making this up as they go, with no idea of the latent dysfunctions that may occur.

    plus they still arent by the Dept of Commerce, or the CHINA Icann meeting.

    plus wait til the lawyers get involved with contracting, indemnification, and oh yeah they got to spread out the $380m over a couple of years.

    2016 is my guess.

  3. says

    No one is ready. Consumers are unaware of the new gTLDs, the majority consumers have already said they wouldn’t trust or register a new gTLD for business, I haven’t seen any marketing for them (even though they’re supposedly going to be released for registration in a few months).

    The only people looking forward to the new gTLDs are registrars like Godaddy that have nothing to lose in selling them yet don’t seem to have committed anything to promoting them (other then removing the .com from their logo, which ironically reinforces the .com).

  4. ChuckWagen says

    This all stinks worse than a Florida voting booth.

    Verisign, SEC, TM community, anyone for common sense all keep the pressure on.

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