Here’s a first: a non-brand TLD operator voluntarily terminating its contract.
For the first time, an operator of a new top level domain that didn’t apply as a brand owner has voluntarily told ICANN it wants to terminate its contract.
While dozens of .brand applicants have decided they no longer want their TLDs, .desi is different. Desi Networks set the domain up to attract Indian registrants. Desi is a term used to refer to people of South Asian birth that live abroad.
Fewer than 1,000 .desi domains are in the zone, but many are registered by people unaffiliated with Desi Networks. For some reason, the majority of sites showing up on the first page of Google for a site:.desi search are adult related.
The situation of a non-brand TLD operator requesting to terminate is so rare that ICANN mistakenly noted on the Registry Agreement Termination page that it made a preliminary termination to NOT transition the TLD to another operator.
But the actual notice (pdf) confirms that ICANN does believe this domain should be transferred to another TLD operator because of the third-party registrations.