ICANN seeks to update policy on country codes no longer in use.
Country code domain names are surging in popularity. .de, Germany’s domain name, is the second most popular domain behind .com. .UK is more popular than .org. Five country code domains saw double digit growth in the last quarter: at (Austria), .es (Spain), .fr (France), .ru (Russia), and .us (United States). Major companies, including Volvo, are advertising sites based on the .us domain.
But what happens to country code domain names that are no longer in use?
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a function performed by ICANN, is responsible for the delegation of top-level domains in the DNS root. IANA is reviewing its practices associated with top-level domains which have been revoked from the officially assigned list, including top-level domains which have been replaced by a new country code.
Last week IANA sent out a call for community input on its practices.
Examples of previous country code changes include:
1. Zaire (“ZR”) renaming to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“CD”).
2. The breakup of the Soviet Union resulting in the code “SU” being replaced with codes for the independent states, such as “RU”, “BY”, and “UA”. Every former soviet state has a new code, which been allocated to an operator by IANA.
3. East Timor’s code changing from “TP” to “TL”.
4. Czechoslovakia’s (“CS”) division into the Czech Republic (“CZ”) and Slovakia (“SK”).
5. The remaining components of Yugoslavia (“YU”) becoming Serbia and Montenegro (“CS”). Following a referendum, in September 2006 Serbia and Montenegro further split into two independent identities Serbia (“RSâ€) and Montenegro (“MEâ€).
Among the questions IANA wants to answer are if domains that are retired should be removed from the DNS root and on what schedule this should be done. The public is invited to comment by sending email to email@example.com. Comments can be seenhere.