NYC Council Technology in Government Committee - .nyc public hearing
250 Broadway
Oct 17 2008

on behalf of
Internet Society - NY Chapter
with thanks to Gale Brewer and Kunal Malhotra

"Connecting .nyc"

On October 17 2008 Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan), Chair of the NYC Council's Technology in Government Committee, held a hearing regarding the City's interest for a unique .nyc Top Level Domain (TLD). As we maybe familiar (from his earlier presentation) Tom Lowenhaupt has for some years been spearheading a local community-based effort - 'Connecting .nyc' - to acquire the .nyc TLD on behalf of the city. At the ICANN meeting in Paris in July the road was cleared for a new round of applications starting early in 2009. Other cities such as Paris and Berlin are also actively pursuing TLDs. There was still some uncertainty as to cost, and also to procedure, particularly if there were more than one applicant. While in general new TLDs were to go to the highest bidder, ICANN let it be known that, in the case of municipal applications, preference would be given to applicants approved by the local authorities. Thus Council Member Brewer sponsored Resolution 1495-2008 that urged ICANN to approve such an application, and this hearing was held where the applicants, and the public, could comment.
Tom gave his presentation, with comments from Hannah Kopelman his resident advisor, and Michael Palage, his ICANN advisor. Council Member Bill DeBlasio sharply questioned the need for any external body to run the domain - rather then the City itself. Dr. Frans Verhagen made brief comments on the sustainability benefits of a TLD. Then came Paul Garrin of name.space. Paul is something of a namespace renegade, attempting in the late 90's to set up a rival to the established domain name system with many TLDs. He sued ICANN's predecessor Network Solutions for access to the root. His proposals for just under 500 new TLDs were, despite expert arguments - since generally accepted - deemed technically impractical. Nevertheless (he says) he won his case on appeal but NetSol were granted immunity as government contractors. Control of the domain system was soon transferred to ICANN. In ICANN's first round of TLD expansion in 2000 he applied for many domains including .nyc, paying a $50K application fee. The application was not successful but, as far as can be ascertained, is still pending. He considers name.space's right to operate a .nyc TLD is well established. His plans are to operate the TLD for the city's benefit and is a supporter of Tom Lowenhaupt's ideas on community management. The next panel brought up representatives of Names@Work. Antony Van Couvering talked of the company's professional experience starting/managing/selling country code TLDs. The company applied for a .nyc tld in 2000 but withdrew for lack of funding. Antony listed current cities interested in TLDs as London, Paris, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, Hamburg, Munich, Toronto, Tokyo, Barcelona, and Portland. He noted the failures of several previously established TLDs which he ascribed mostly to a lack of marketing. He suggested that rather than a community run TLD that a 'community partner' be the recipient of a portion of the profits from a commercial enterprise, with some second-level domains reserved for community use. He was quite prepared to work with Tom on community aspects. Davidson Goldin stressed the company's ability to address prectical aspects of domain management and all of the city council's concerns. Lastly Jack Eichenbaum of GISMO spoke about geographic integration

00:00:00 Gale A. Brewer - Introduction
05:15:16 Thomas Lowenhaupt, Connecting.nyc
21:57:10 Hannah Kopelman, Connecting.nyc
23:31:31 Michael Palage, Connecting.nyc
35:29:54 Bill DeBlasio - questions
01:07:01 Frans C. Verhagen, Sustainability Sociologist
01:11:51 Paul Garrin, Name.Space
01:24:37 Antony Van Couvering, Names@Work
01:30:23 Davidson Goldin, Names@Work
01:35:21 Jack Eichenbaum, GISMO

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Educators, librarians, and other interested parties can obtain a DVD of this talk by emailing dvd@isoc-ny.org - ask for DVD1451.

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date posted: 11/10/08

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