Top level domain applicants could start registering domains sooner, but there’s a catch.
ICANN has changed its plan for mitigating the risk of so-called “name collisions” at the second level of new top level domain names, potentially allowing new top level domain applicants to start selling domains sooner than expected.
It’s good news for applicants whose strings fell in the “uncalculated risk” bucket of name collisions. It could also be good news for those 80% of strings that were categorized as low risk, although these domains could also face future restrictions that weren’t contemplated in ICANN’s original plan.
Under the new plan, ICANN will create a name collision occurrence assessment for each string along with suggested mitigation measures.
But instead of waiting for this plan, applicants for all domains other than .home and .corp will be allowed to proceed to delegation sooner if they block any second level domain (SLD) that was in the original “Day in the Life of the Internet” dataset.
This initial block could ensnare a number of second level domain names. For .club, for example, it could mean blocking as many as 12,164 strings. That’s how many separate SLDs were queried under .club in the dataset. However, many of these strings would not be a big deal. Some of them are invalid, such as the number one queried .club SLD _udp. Many others are random 10 character SLDs that are suspected to come from a Chrome security implementation.
.Club had already suggested blocking the top 50 queried SLDs for a faster path to delegation.
On the surface, it would seem that moving forward with an initial blocklist that is later removed is a good option. Odds are the blocks can be removed fairly quick – perhaps even before landrush. Of course, holding back good second level domains at launch could cause irreversible harm to launch momentum for some TLDs.
There’s also a way for companies that figure out they’re being adversely affected by a name collision down the road to request a domain to be blocked for up to two years. This is somewhat troubling if the domain name has already been registered by a third party.
Net-net this new plan seems like a positive for applicants, but there are still a lot of implementation issues that are sure to cause concern.