October 11, 2011 (with March 3, 2012 update) – It’s been 11 years since Queens Community Board 3 passed its Internet Empowerment Resolution calling for the acquisition and development of the .nyc TLD as a public interest resource. In February 2009, in her state-of-the-city address, City Council Speaker Chris Quinn announced the city administration’s support for the .nyc TLD.

In June 2011 ICANN, after 13 years of planning and negotiation, approved a new TLD program providing a process that enables the city to follow through on that Resolution. ICANN’s new TLD program details a filing process and opens 90 day window for submitting applications – from January 12, 2012 and April 12, 2012.

It is estimated that a pent up demand will result in thousands of applications for new TLD being filed in 2012 – by cities, by businesses for corporate and product TLDs, and for generic TLDs – .art, .film .music, .sport etc. With this being a new process, and with ICANN having a small staff, many are aiming for an early filing in the hope of a swift trip through the evaluation process. Here’s the countdown clock indicating the remaining time if the city is to file its application at the front of the line, i.e., on January 12:

Oops. Missed that opportunity. Having missed the front of the line, the below clock applies:

NOTE: See our recommendation that the city forgo a rushed application and await ICANN’s second round filing oppotunity.

To some this might seem a more manageable time frame. But we quake when we recall that in 2003, when the city administration was presented with the opportunity to file for .nyc during ICANN’s experimental TLD program, it failed to submit an application. (Some say squandering a 10 year lead on other global cities.)

 It’s possible that activity is progressing behind those closed doors at city hall and that an application will be completed by deadline. (See city statements here and again here.)

But how will the city comply with the NTIA’s expected requirement that IANA certify that applicants for community TLDs demonstrate consensus support for and application by the community? ( See our comments to NTIA on this.) How does one create consensus by April 12? A formidable task. Add in the need for a baseline study of the role of a city-TLD, and the challenge becomes monumental.

  • How do we avoid the carelessness, chicanery, and cronyism that too frequently arise with tight deadlines?
  • Should we be looking at alternative applicants?
  • Is there time for “the community” to organize and prepare an application?
  • What about New York State, is Governor Cuomo prepared to step up?

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