Former ICANN chairman notes some surprises today, but says he’s still digesting all of the data.
Peter Dengate Thrush was chairman of ICANN’s board when it finally approved the new top level domain plan. Now he’s with Top Level Domain Holdings (TLDH), which is one of the biggest applicants for new top level domains. It is applying for 68 on its own accord and 92 in total.
I just got off the phone with Dengate Thrush and asked him what the biggest surprises were in today’s reveal.
“We’re still digesting it ourselves,” he told me. “But there were quite some surprises.”
* There’s only one applicant for .orange and .apple
* That there weren’t more internationalized domain names (IDNs), although he’s pleased there are over 100
* Only three applicants requested community support
He is happy with the breadth of brands participating in the process. But what about the noticeably absent brands such as Facebook, Twitter, and eBay?
“I think they got some bad advice,” he said.
During a panel discussion at today’s ICANN even, Dengate Thrush inquired about digital archery. His company has come out opposed to the system for batching applications. He reminded me that he was at the helm of ICANN’s board when the system was devised. “But we now have a huge amount of data that we didn’t have when we put it [the plan] together,” he said.
For example, there’s no need to spend resources for 92 technical reviews of its applications as they are basically all the same.
As for TLDH’s applications, he said its preliminary count shows 10 of its applications are uncontested and another 10 are only challenged by one party. Now the negotiating can begin, and he says he’s already received an email from another applicant saying “let’s talk”.
“Many of these [competitors] are reasonable commercial people,” he said. He’s confident they can work out a solution and that auctions are a last resort — although TLDH is prepared to go to auction when necessary.