[NA-Discuss] New TLDs and Internet users, a match made in, uh, heck
John R. Levine
johnl at iecc.com
Fri Apr 1 19:56:48 UTC 2011
> Whatever the success of the past new gTLDs, I don't understand the
> reasoning behind keeping COM/NET/ORG as the de facto gTLD registration
> space in perpetuity, blind to the ever increasing number of new Internet
>From the point of view of Internet users, the current set of TLDs is
consistent and predictable. If ICANN allows a thousand new TLDs, we will
have a mess similar to the mess with registrars, only worse since
switching TLDs is a lot harder than switching registrars.
Registrars range from the stable and honest to the incompetent and
criminal. Nobody can keep track of them all, certainly not ICANN's
compliance department, they come and go and sleaze and fail and who knows
what else. Verisign, Afilias, and Neustar may not be my favorite
organizations, but at least they are competent and stable.
I agree that the new TLD process so far has been deeply flawed, but if
there were a demand for new TLDs, I would expect at least some evidence of
it. As I've often noted, every new TLD has failed to meet its most
pessimistic registration estimates by an order of magnitude, and the only
ones with significant uptake are .BIZ and .INFO, which we all know are
just clones of .COM and .ORG for people who missed out on the rush the
Other than IDNs, which I think are adequately addressed by the fast track,
the demand for new TLDs is from speculators and reality-resistant
marketers, not from users. There was a brief flicker of hope that some
new TLDs might offer security assurances (.bank is the usual example), but
the cynical way the HSTLD process turned out put that fantasy to rest.
If we purport to represent Internet users, we should be hammering on
stability and predictability, not advocating for hundreds of useless TLDs
that will just be full of defensive registrations and squats.
John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly
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