ICANN Board approves resolution paving way for two character second level domains.
Last week’s ICANN meeting started with good news for new top level domain name applicants: governments said they weren’t concerned about two letter second level domain names under new top level domain names.
Resolved (2014.10.16.14), the proposed registry service for the release of two-character domains in the gTLD namespace does not create a reasonable risk of a meaningful adverse effect on security and stability, and the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to develop and implement an efficient procedure for the release of two-character domains currently required to be reserved in the New gTLD Registry Agreement, taking into account the GAC’s advice in the Los Angeles Communiqué.
New top level domain name contracts currently have a blanket restriction on two character second level domain names. A number of registries have requested that this provision be removed.
This is good news for domain name registries from a usage standpoint. The change will allow .wiki, for example, to go forward with a planned arrangement with Wikimedia Foundation.
It probably won’t mean much from a revenue standpoint, though. Due to the massive supply of new top level domain names, even “rare” one character second level domain names don’t seem to be fetching much in the market.
Two character domains will also help brands set up regional second level domains. However, there is still a restriction on using country and territory names at the second level.