Country Code organization submits ccTLD retirement plan to ICANN.
The Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) has submitted a new recommended policy (pdf) on the retirement process for ccTLDs for approval by the ICANN Board of Directors.
The plan updates the process for retiring country code domains and gives ICANN a set procedure for sunsetting the domains. Under the plan, the retirement process kicks off if there’s a change made to the ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 Code Element. The ISO list includes the two-letter country codes assigned to each country.
A recent example of a change to country codes occurred when Yugoslavia split into Serbia and Montenegro. Yugoslavia’s .yu was eventually retired, and Serbia got .rs and Montenegro got .me. These ccTLDs correspond to their ISO country codes.
The updated plan formulates a procedure and timeline for these retirements. When a triggering event occurs, IANA Naming Functions Operator (IFO) will notify the ccTLD manager that the extension will be removed from the root in 5 years. The manager can request an extension of up to 5 more years, but it’s up to IFO to approve that request.
So what does this have to do with .TV? .TV is the country code for Tuvalu, a country in the west-central Pacific Ocean. The average height of the islands is less than 2 meters, and climate change is impacting its habitability. While it doesn’t seem that there’s a very near-term threat to Tuvalu’s existence, it’s likely to disappear one day.
Without calling it out by name, the ccNSO policy mentions Tuvalu as an edge case. The report refers to a situation in which “Island state disappears, but interests (was: “commercial Interests” intended to keep ccTLD “alive”).” The answer: “If the code element is removed, the ccTLD is eligible for Retirement. Reason for removal is not of relevance.”
I suspect that if a highly-used and commercialized ccTLD were to face retirement, there would be significant pressure on ICANN to make an exception.