No Expressions of Interest for new top level domain names.
I guess I’m not in the internal loop at ICANN, but I’m surprised that its board voted to completely nix the idea of “Expressions of Interest” for new top level domain names.
The idea was simple. If you want to apply for a new top level domain name, you would make a $55,000 deposit per TLD and name the string.
This would resolve a whole host of issues. First, we’d know how many TLDs will be applied for when the new TLD application process starts. This could resolve issues with root zone scaling, assuage trademark interest fears (or at least let them know what they’re dealing with), and uncover possible conflicts and issues that will rear their heads when the application process starts (and it’s too late to do anything about it).
But ICANN’s board decided the costs of running the EOI were outweighed by the costs of a potential delay to new gTLDs by using resources for EOI, not knowing the date the overarching issues for new TLDs will be resolved, and difficulty synchronizing the new TLD progress with the EOI process. So ICANN wants to focus staff resources on resolving remaining new TLD issues rather than doing the EOI.
Practically speaking, this means we’ll go into the new TLD process blind. We’ll have no idea how many TLDs will be applied for. We’ll have to resolve root zone scaling for the prospect of 100 TLDs or 10,000 TLDs. We won’t understand potential string conflicts and gaming until its too late.
Yes, there are issues with the proposed EOI. But it seems to me that the benefits of EOI outweighed the costs.