Public Interest Registry asks for permission to allocate one and two character .org domain names.
.Org domain name registry Public Interest Registry is asking (pdf) ICANN to allow it to allocate certain one and two character .org domain names.
PIR’s contract with ICANN currently prohibits registering these short .org domain names. PIR wants to allocate any such domains excluding ones that correspond to a country code.
There’s a model for releasing these domains as ICANN has approved every request to date from other registries for similar plans. However, VeriSign abandoned its plan to do this for .net. .Org generally falls into the same category as .net and .com when it comes to being considered “sacred”. Should PIR’s allocation process be successful then we can expect VeriSign to consider restarting its plans.
Public Interest Registry wants to take a different approach to allocating these domain names than many other registries. It plans to auction them off using one or more domain name auction services. It will require bidders to be “committed to building out the domain name with a sound marketing and branding strategy, including a strong focus on quality, creativity and the desire to launch the site in a timely manner.”
Other registries have followed a three step process: allocate via an RFP process to entities willing to develop the domains, then auction of remaining domains, and finally release unsold domains on a first come, first served basis.
The PIR proposal strikes me as a bit odd. Instead of giving the first option to whomever has the best plan to develop the domains, it appears the company will sell the domains to whomever meets minimum criteria but is willing to pay the most.