Who or what might oppose something so beneficial and overdue as a city-TLD operated in the public's interest?
Tear down this wall!
President Obama, if you seek better cities, if you seek ways to bridge bureaucratic silos in developing urban policy, if you seek opportunities for small businesses, come now to the aide of cities. Mr. Obama, allow city-TLDs. Mr. Obama, Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!
( Photo courtesy of freephoto.com, text Ronald Regan )
With the Internet's flowering in the mid-1990s, the need for additional domain names became apparent. To address the issue, the Clinton Administration fostered ICANN's creation in 1998 to issue new top level domains. It's nearly 15 years and a solution remains elusive. What's the problem? Here's a list of the forces commonly identified as opposing new TLDs.
- TLD owners profiting from the existing order.
- Search engines profiting from the existing disorder.
- Trademark owners seeking to broaden the scope of trademarks from local consumer protection to exclusive global franchises.
- The nation-state system concerned about change empowered by ethnic and cultural TLDs such as .kurd and .kashmir.
But little of this opposition is directed toward city-TLDs. Cities need to unite and demand their digital infrastructure.
While this will differ by locale, the opposition in cities seems to fall into two categories: sharks and bewilderment. The former are typical of the human condition where various levels of need, greed,and ignorance drive some to acquire riches regardless of consequences. The latter arises with the new and is remedied by time and education, and in the instance of city-TLDs, we hope wikis.