It’s time to approve Expressions of Interest for new top level domain names.
Next week is the highly anticipated ICANN meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. Err, Washington D.C. And New York. And everywhere else people have decided to participate remotely for fear of their safety.
The big topic next week will be new top level domain names. Specifically on the table next week will be the “Expressions of Interest” idea for new TLDs. You can read about it many places. But the basic idea is people who want a new TLD will submit an expression of interest in a new TLD, which will give the community an idea of how many — and what kind — of TLDs to expect.
I think it’s time to move this forward and open up EOI. There are a lot of issues that will be resolved or at least put in perspective by knowing just how many applications will be made for new top level domain names, which languages, and what the actual strings are.
Yes, it costs $55,000 per TLD to take this initial step. True, it could be years before new TLDs are actually ready for launch. For some people, $55,000 is a lot to tie up with such a risky proposition.
I think that’s a good thing. Look, if you’re a non-profit and you can’t tie up that money for so long, you shouldn’t be applying for a TLD. If you’re a government and that’s a lot of money to you, this round of TLDs isn’t for you. It’s going to cost a lot more to actually launch your TLD. If you don’t have $55,000 to spare, I don’t see you coming up with the cash to launch properly when it’s time.
The only issue that needs to be resolved before the end of the EOI period is registry/registrar separation, as that will make a big difference in how many TLDs are applied for.
So ICANN, coming from a guy who generally doesn’t like the idea of a massive launch of new TLDs, I say go for it. Let’s do the EOI, start the communication period, and see where it gets us.