ICANN creating contingency plan for registry failure.
We’ve seen domain registrars, such as RegisterFly, lose their accreditation. But what happens when a domain registry that manages an entire top level domain (TLD) goes out of business?
This isn’t a far-fetched situation. Tralliance, the registry for .travel, almost when kaput last year. And with perhaps hundreds of new registries forming over the coming years as ICANN relaxes its restrictions for new top level domains, we are sure to see some registries go out of business.
Thankfully, the domain industry’s friends at Internet Commerce Association (ICA) are helping provide input to ICANN’s Registry Failover Plan (full details in pdf). In the latest ICA newsletter, Michael Collins wrote:
It is inevitable that as ICANN adds hundreds or even thousands of new gTLDs, some registries will fail.
The [ICANN registry failover] plan enables failed registries to be replaced by a new registry that takes over the TLD from a failed registry. Registrants should be protected from losing their names when this occurs. However, if a new registry is not found quickly, a TLD can be closed and the TLD removed from the root. A new entity could then conceivably apply for the closed TLD and it could be started as a brand new operation, without any registrations. In preparation for drafting comments for BC, I have been discussing my desire to see registrants have first rights to domains lost because of a TLD closure if the TLD is delegated to a new registry within some reasonable time, maybe a year. I am not getting any support or opposition from BC so I will probably include them in draft comments for the constituency. I welcome feedback from ICA members about this issue as well. If you agree that registrant protection for reestablished TLDs should be added to the plan, submit your individual comments to ICANN.