• IGF Vilnius: City-TLD Governance Workshop Report

last modified November 30, 2010 by tomlowenhaupt

The IGF Workshop on City-TLD Governance and Best Practices was held in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 17, 2010. This page presents the workshop report.


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The Panelists

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Clockwise from top left: Dirk Krischenowski, Werner Staub, Sébastien Bachollet, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond, Thomas Lowenhaupt, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Ana Neves, Hong Xue, Izumi Aizu, Thomas Schneider, (not shown) Jonathan Shea and Bertrand de La Chapelle. (Photos courtesy of Patti Shubitz.)  

Panelists

The below were members of the workshop panel. Detailed bios on each can be found on the IGF website. 

  • Izumi Aizu, Japan Internet Domain Name Council (bio)
  • Sébastien Bachollet, ICANN ALAC Vice Chair, Président d'honneur d'ISOC France (bio
  • Bertrand de La Chapelle, Délégué Spécial pour la Société de l'Information / Special Envoy for the Information Society Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes/ French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (bio)  
  • Wolfgang Kleinwächter, University of Aarhus, Board Member of Medienstadt Leipzig e.V. (bio)  
  • Dirk Krischenowski, CEO, .Berlin  (bio)
  • Thomas Lowenhaupt, Founder and Director, Connecting.nyc Inc. Workshop organizer and moderator (bio)  
  • Ana Cristina Amoroso das Neves, Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) - Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal (bio
  • Thomas Schneider, Coordinator International Information Society International Affairs, Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication DETEC, and deputy director of the international division of Switzerland's Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) (bio)
  • Jonathan Shea, Chief Executive Officer, HKIRC (the .hk TLD) (bio
  • Werner Staub, Secretary, Council of European Registrars (aka CORE)
  • Dr. Hong Xue, Professor of Law, Director of Institute for the Internet Policy & Law (IIPL), Beijing Normal University (bio)  
  • The workshop was aided by the expert services of Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond who served as our remote moderator. (bio)


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Dirk Krischenowski summarized several advantages of city-TLDs from an upcoming paper.

 

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Bertrand de La Chapelle, an ICANN board member-designate,  outlining steps city-TLD proponents should take to bring their plans to fruition.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Thomas Schneider urged city-TLD proponents to learn from experiences of country code TLD operators and of the need to enable cities to operate under local legal structures.

 

 


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  Dr. Hong Xue reminding all of the difference between north and south, and how a one-size-fits-all application process is a disservice to many, especially those in the south.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Izumi Aizu detailing the careful planning process for city-TLDs underway in Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Werner Staub outlining the innovative Name Space Mandates for assigning name-sets to responsible developers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Ana Cristina Amoroso das Neves calling for city-TLD developers to provide features facilitating inter city relationships.

 

 



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Jonathan Shea, shown in image at bottom, participating from Hong Kong with the assistance of the Remote Moderator, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond (not shown), as workshop moderator Thomas Lowenhaupt looks on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Wolfgang Kleinwächter, pausing during a synopsis that included a brief history of new TLD creation efforts and the importance of careful planning for city-TLDs.

 

 


 

   

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Sébastien Bachollet emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive governance strategy.

 

 

 

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ICANN's Chair Peter Dengate-Thrush listening during Q&A to responses to his inquiry / request for a list of city names.


 

The 5th convening of the U.N.'s Internet Governance Forum was at the LitCenter in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 14-17, 2010. A workshop on City-TLD Governance and Best Practices, with participants from civil society, business, government, and ICANN was held on September 17 and is the subject of this report.

Executive Summary

Workshop panelists affirmed the desirability and utility of public interest city-TLDs to urban areas in both the developed and developing world and presented TLD features, applications, and activities that would enable cities to better coordinate the acquisition and development of their TLDs. Workshop participants proffered the following suggestions:

  • City-TLD proponents should define the role and responsibilities of public interest TLDs, using resources such as the Paris Understanding.
  • An organization of proponents of public interest city-TLDs be formed.
  • Literature should be prepared to inform mayors of the world of the utility of city-TLDs and distributed through their best practices organizations.
  • Via petition and other mechanisms, the case for the thoughtful and rapid approval of city-TLDs should be presented to the ICANN.
  • Such petition to the ICANN should note that the operation of city government, the quality of city life, and the sustainability of cities will be improved by the thoughtful issuance and development of city-TLDs.
  • Such petition should also note the unsuitability of the proposed filing fees, technology requirements, and registry/registrar separation for city-TLDs proposed in the Draft Application Guidebook, especially for less developed areas.
  • The petition should note that the acceptance of city-TLDs as a distinct category of TLDs, governed under the existing laws of nation-states; unencumbered by traditional concerns about trademark stress; and governed by responsible entities will free the ICANN to focus on more problematic TLD categories.
  • That nation-states be contacted through the members of the ICANN's Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and other channels and requested to assemble a list of cities with an existing interest in TLDs.
  • That a list of cities proposing public interest TLDs be submitted to ICANN.
  • That a dedicated unit within ICANN be created to process public interest city-TLD applications.
  • That cities on such a list be processed and approved in an expedited manner.
  • That trademark issues be closely considered.
  • That the city-TLD advocacy organization create city-to-city processes and communication channels to share best practices.
For additional activities relating to these recommendations see Vilnius Workshop Follow-up

Panelist Contribution Summaries

The full transcript from the Vilnius workshop, as created by the IGF scribes, is available here. The following summarizes panelist contributions.

Thomas Lowenhaupt opened the workshop by thanking panelists for their participation. He offered his regrets that panelist Hawa Diakite, from Mali was unable to attend, noting that Ms. Diakite was to speak on the status of city-TLD interest in Africa. Mr. Lowenhaupt, riffing on the permissionless innovation theme presented during the Opening Session, indicated that - while not wanting to put words into the mouth of Ms. Diakite - he suspects Ms. Diakite would have commented that the proposed $185,000 new TLD filing fee and the stringent technical requirements in the ICANN's Draft Application Guidebook would surely limit innovation in her part of the world. Mr. Lowenhaupt expressed his hope that he would have the opportunity to draw upon Ms. Diakite's knowledge as the city-TLD application process evolved and as city-TLDs became a reality.

After introducing the panelists Mr. Lowenhaupt provided a brief history of his engagement with the .nyc TLD, starting with an Internet Empowerment Resolution passed by a New York City Community Board in 2001, and ending with a note that, at the city level, the city-TLD development processes  had "gone dark" in 2010, without channels for public engagement or participation.

Then, using a slide presentation, he noted the ancient roots of cities and pointed to the Greek City-States and Hanseatic League as historic examples of cooperation between cities. Mr. Lowenhaupt concluded his remarks by noting the benefits several name-sets offered to create more livable and sustainable cities, touching on universal tagging and his organization's dotNeighborhoods initiative. He then introduced Dirk Krischenowski.

Dirk Krischenowski reviewed his long involvement with .berlin and other city-TLDs, and shared several of the 10 points he will present next February in a best practices paper on digital branding of cities at the Second International Place Branding Conference in Bogota.

  • Digital branding will become an important element in city's marketing strategy; becoming a competitive factor in attracting capital, people, and general interest. City-TLDs are increasingly being seen by city marketing experts as unique destination propositions.
  • City branding with Top Level Domains will unleash the potential of the entire city to market their destination, not only Government and institutions, as is normal in city marketing. He sees each domain name, using the example of oliver.paris creating an individual city ambassadorship to the world.
  • The third of the 10 advantages of city-TLDs will be realized when they become the single most important contact point with a city, generating billions of impressions each year via emails and Web site impressions.
  • Dirk's final point centered on the role city domain names will play in improving search engine optimization.
Upon completing his presentation the moderator thanked Dirk and acknowledged Bertrand de La Chapelle, noting that he had recently been chosen as a member-designate to the ICANN's board of directors.

Bertrand de La Chapelle observed that one reason the new TLD program is delayed is the "one size fits all"  approach ICANN has taken. However, he noted that characteristics of city-TLDs make them distinct: they will be run by entities based within their nations; subject to all the procedures for handling disputes that exist in their respective national laws; and that they have "more in common with country TLDs than with other very generic strings" such as .music and .sport.

Another problem he sees is that, at the moment, the proposed pricing and technical requirements for city TLDs puts them out of reach of developing countries. Responding to Dirk's comments, he noted that some city-TLDs have the potential to be very popular, requiring strong technology. But smaller TLDs might be best suited with less redundant tech. In a similar vein he spoke of the proposed vertical integration rules separating registries and registrars. He envisions potential situations where there are no registrars in a region, or none interested in marketing a city name. He suggested a solution might be found in recent provisions for orphan TLDs, these might enable potentially problematic city-TLDs to be launched. Before "the applicant guidebook is finalize we'll need to make sure that city TLDs are not harmed by one application or another."

Bertrand opined that "if for one reason or the other the gTLD programme cannot be finalized in a sufficient manner there might be a need to emphasize sort of pressure ... from major or key mayors ... to push for a specific track regarding city TLDs. It is a last resort option but it should be taken into account in case things have been blocked."

While there have had long discussions on the notion of TLD categories, their inclusion in the final Guidebook is unknown. Regardless of how this plays out, Bertrand suggested there will be benefits from batching city-TLD applicants for processing by ICANN. City-TLDs are clearly a subset that should be dealt with in a coordinated manner. Similarly, he sees benefits by the GNSO handling the needs of this specific sub group of TLDs with some autonomy.

He spoke of the potential conflict / competition for city-TLDs, referring to Las Vegas where there might be two  competing applications. He suggested that "the community of TLD applicants could help ICANN and the board identify possible solutions to help solve those problems..." He suggested, after first noting a possible self-interest as a Parisian, that the process might take into account a "preference for capital cities when there is a conflict with other names in other countries." 

He encouraged a strong exchange of best practices among the cities, structured around three elements.

  • Internal governance of those TLDs and how they engage the local community, in particular, defining the registration policy.
  • Second, how you manage the second level domain. Paris could be handled in a different way than just throwing names up for auction. 
  • The third is the promotion and launch process to ensure there is a progressive adoption, that it raises awareness as it spreads.

Bertrand urged that a group be formed to coordinate the outlined actions; that it is important to raise awareness at conferences like the one Dirk mentioned, and that international associations of mayors and congresses should be contacted and involved in the conversation. And it would be spectacular if a group of applicants would make joint presentations at these events. He underscored that city-TLDs in themselves are sufficient to demonstrate the benefit of opening up of the new TLD space.  

He suggested that creating information brochures and outreach efforts like those reported by Izumi (see below) was probably worth replicating at various national levels, and he would like to initiate a similar process. Further, he suggested partnering with ICANN in producing a summary of the DAG in multiple languages for the cities, as well as frequently asked questions, recommendations of process, and how to set up a TLD review structure at the national level. Anything that can help cities is worth doing.

Finally, in terms of possible dispute resolution on city names, "We have never raised the question in the community of mediation support. What about introducing a completely free and nonbinding mechanism that could help actors that will have a dispute get together, try to find agreement."

Bertrand indicated that he would continue to explore these topics in discussions and at ICANN meetings.

Thomas Schneider, who represents Switzerland in several fora including the ICANN, presented some of the key findings of the recent European Dialog on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) workshop on Geographical and Other Names of Public Interest.

First, TLDs are global resources which should be managed in a global public interest. This means that management structures and provisions should be drafted in a way that it is not only feasible for the likes of .berlin and .nyc to get a city TLD, but for cities in developing countries with different circumstances.

He noted that while these TLDs should serve the public interest, this does not mean they must be run as not-for-profits, as commercially organized entities can also serve the public interest.

There are different categories or uses for TLDs and these should be reflected in the regime that is applied to them. So different types of legal contracts should apply to different categories. But these regimes should be kept simple and gaming between regimes avoided. Possible elements of regime differentiation could be contracts under the local law related to the community the entity reports to rather than just California law.

Cities should build on experience with existing cc-TLDs and linguistic and cultural TLDs such as .cat. Specific application procedures for terms of public interest in general should be explored. City-TLDs are one category, but there are others. At EuroDIG there was a proposal to create a public interest team of experts from the world over to assist ICANN in taking into account the global public interest. ICANN could explore establishing a supporting organization for public interest registries and registrars, within the GNSO or with other structures being adopted and restructured. He concluded by stating that registry operator contracts should reflect the law of the local community.

Dr. Hong Xue stated that for the first time at Vilnius, the global development agenda became a primary issue for discussion at an IGF main session. In response, her presentation focused on the importance of city-TLDs for developing countries and regions, and for city-TLDs in IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) scripts.

With time pressing, Hong limited her presentation to two areas: the need for a development fund to facilitate the application for marginalized city-TLD applicants, suggesting that perhaps a funding pool from the auction of gTLDs. And secondly, the importance of capacity building for city-TLD applicants from developing countries, regions, and for small communities. In this regard she focused attention on four issues. 

  • The technical and policy complexity of ICANN's Draft Application Guidebook v. 4 with respect to IDNs might lead one to believe that ICANN is not fully prepared for the policy and the technology. She fears a repeat of the CJK (Chinese-Japanese-Korean) community where two script versions could not be matched together, preventing the  CJK group from moving ahead. She doesn't want to see this with city-TLD scripts in native languages.
  • Some of the current city-TLDs can be categorized as community based and some not. How can city-TLDs  become one category, she asked. This related to the nexus issue, especially for those with potential for open registration city-TLDs. By example Hong said " I love Paris. I like the identity of .paris. So even I am living in Beijing I am going to be registered there."
  • Geographical names. ICANN makes policy in the new TLD programme for use of geographical names at top level. So this is there are some very clear restrictions and guidance on use of this and, of course, there is a multistakeholder involvement. 
  • As an intellectual property lawyer Hong sees challenging issues. She gave two scenarios, first are famous city TLDs. Almost all of them have been registered as a trademark - Tokyo is a trademark, Beijing is a trademark - and have been registered by many companies in different categories in many jurisdictions. "We have a governance issue indeed."  Should these private sector trademark holders be involved in their application and management? The second intellectual property issue relates too geographical indication. There is town in Switzerland, Champagne, but Champagne is specifically protected as a most important GI.  You cannot use the word Champagne.  You can't say Champagne-style or Champagne-like. This is a highly restricted protected name. And in developing countries where we have Darjeeling in Sri Lanka. If somebody attempt to apply .dutching, is a public SS?  Should it be approved by Sri Lanka or it must go through an Internet trade negotiation? We need to open up all our minds and think about the legal issues that could be involved.

Izumi Aizu, noting that he was speaking from a personal perspective, not as a member of the Japan Internet Domain Name Council's steering committee, began by noting that the Internet Domain Council is tasked to deal with city or geographical TLDs. JIDC was created with a kind of multistakeholder membership that includes several Internet trade associations, the Japan Bar Association, academic and research institutions, but no full profit company as a member.

At the start the government initiated a high level policy regulatory council which convened several different levels of meetings which recommended that a private sector led council be established. Its first task is selecting the new IDN TLD, Nehong in Chinese or Japanese characters, with the registry to be selected from incumbents in an open neutral selection process. They are at the final stage of selecting the dotNehong registry.

The second task is to help the cities or others interested in providing a geographic TLD. In May 2010 the JIDC started a geographic name TLD working group and a geographical name TLD study group. The working group consists of Internet associations and the like with the study group members coming from municipalities and functional Government bodies. The working group will prepare the material while the study group members, meaning the municipality staffers, will provide questions and feedbacks.

Initially they thought we better try to help the cities who are going to introduce TLDs. Over the course of two meetings many municipality staffers told us that while , some are considering, some are wondering how to consider. Some are also wondering, we are not as a city bureaucrat, not planning to introduce but if some private sectors come to us and ask for it.  What kind of procedure do we have to go through to say yes or no or whatever. Or in the case of Paris similarly what if some Japanese TLDs or city names apply from any other jurisdiction under the gTLD or geo TLDs.  

Originally JIDC was tasked to create material, handbook to support these introductions. The city governments of Tokyo and Hiroshima combined with the national government showed some degree of interest to introduce the TLDs, but there is no official confirmation. More than 12 cities or professional governments participated in the study group who find themselves in a difficult situation: the $185,000 application fee is high to governments that are in the red now, and  anything that requires investment must go through a very rigorous process including their parliament. They decided to prepare a neutral information piece on how to deal with the ICANN process, including questions such as the financial obligation needed to make an objection. 

A few very small cities also contacted them based on their high degree of international tourism that attracts many Australian skiers in their winter. For them they are looking to create a how-to on evaluating demand and how you make economic case.

So these are the several challenges and especially we notice that not only you focus on the introduction of the TLD by the city or by any entity closely working with the city, there are various issues.  Maybe it is a (Off microphone) especially if you talk about the public interest.  It is not necessarily those interests who register the domains.  But it could be a little bit larger and these areas in my limited knowledge are not adequately addressed yet. To go to the registration I mean the introduction site, yes, there is a huge need for policy incorporation of the registrations now that we have dotNehong.

Werner Staub spoke on a specific TLD Application. He noted that the CORE Registry was chartered 12 years ago and the underlining idea has always been for CORE that city-TLDs should be introduced in the public interest. One of the reasons to introduce new TLDs is that a new Top Level Domain offers a clean slate of policy, unencumbered by Top Level Domain by legacy. With that in mind he presented one of the components of domain management that CORE proposes to use in the case of city TLDs, something they call Name Space Mandates.

This is a replacement for some cases of the normal domain registration policy. The typical domain registration is about one domain and one contract. The idea is that once a registrant has paid that's it. There is no service obligation on the part of the registrant and the registrant is not required to provide content.  He or she can do as he or she pleases with that domain.  

In the case of a Name Space Mandate the inverse approach is taken. In each city it is expected that there will  be tens of thousands of names that are of public interest: street names, monument names, or key words for public services or commercial products and services. All these have a public aspect and, of course, the public expects some information to be useful about these names. Currently, if we have first come first served approach, very often these public interest names are used for something different and they are often used for pay per click advertising.

In the case of Name Space Mandate, CORE proposes taking a set of domains names, for example, all the street names in a city like Paris or Berlin and entrust to one party, with public interest content obligations. That party is allowed to make money on those domain registrations, most probably by way of advertising and commissions. 

The fact that these domains are allocated to the same party at once means that this party can work on the global perception of that space. This approach is not limited to street names with professional or commercial key words (Yellow Pages). Often there are professional organizations that would be able to provide useful content. However, they are sometimes too close and have too small a budget to do that. They may choose to operate it themselves or contract with a neutral party. Then we'll have a very useful compromise between centralized investment by one company and the respectful interest of the stakeholders. Stakeholders have actually some negotiating chip to achieve that their interests.

As well, this is a way of using the public interest to bring additional advantage by putting the TLD on the map on the very first day it be used, so when .nyc or .paris go live, people will immediately see useful city domain names from day one.

Ana Cristina Amoroso das Neves from the government of Portugal, spoke from the Government and public interest point of view in favor of the city-TLDs, and as a member of GAC, to point to some ideas on how city-TLDs provide an opportunity to organize information according to geographical location and  localization. 

She suggested using city TLDs to provide cross organization of virtual space according to city locations, bringing together the open network organization of the web with its impelling structure with the physical space of city activities. The most important advantages that we can see from the public interest point of view seem to be inviting the presence of a city in the Web: facilitating search and exchange of information relating to city and local services and creating the city identity in cyberspace, and city branding in the web. For these advantages to be fulfilled it is not enough just to add for business other organizations and people. It should be a strong force based on relationships within the city. It must also be a living community. It must federate sites of other Top Level Domains related to the city, requiring a three pronged strategy. 

  • To create a movement of support and regulation of the city TLDs among mayors of other cities and other countries. 
  • To devise a scheme of cross linking existing content related to the city TLD. 
  • And to develop a social network space centered in city people and activities.  

In closing Ms. Neves pointed to the semantic web and web 2.0 as means to strengthen a city and a city-TLD. While it is not developed, the strategy of interlinking content of other TLDs can be a first answer to the federation goal of the city-TLD.

Jonathan Shea - CEO of the .hk TLD, noted that .hk was introduced to Hong Kong in the 1990s and the current HK organization was selected in the year 2001. It is a non-profit organization with a membership scheme enabling .hk registrants to become members who elect board members of the company. See Jonathan's slides.

Their mission is to provide customer-centric and sustainable service through the registry. In terms of the number of domain names they have grown in the past nine years from 60,000 to about 190,000. His advice:

  • When you set up a city-TLD the first thing you should decide on is categories of domain names that you allow people to register. With the city-TLD you need to consider the needs of the community in terms of the different categories representing different types of organizations or entities.
  • You need to consider the level of documentary proof required to register a domain name. If you require little identifying information you can encourage more people to register and hence build up a registration base. More registrant information will result in a smaller business but more assurance of the identity of the registrants. dotHK requires documentary proof for the third level such as .com.hk and .org.hk but for the second they do not require documentary proof. But they require all registrants to enter document number and type in case they need to verify the identity of the registrant in the future.
  • New city-TLDs must consider languages in addition to English. In .hk they offer both English and Chinese.
  • Depending on the culture and level of acceptance of people of different cultures in the city, you may have to reserve or restrict the use of certain words under the city-TLD. dotHK reserved some names as not available for registration. And there are words for which the applicant will have to produce some proof of approval or authorization before they are allowed to use those words in the domain names. In Hong Kong the words bank and insurance are controlled by ordinance. Therefore a registrant wanting to register a name with the word bank needs an authorization from the relevant authority. In the case of reserved names there are a number of categories.
  • Jonathan commented that, as Dirk mentioned, digital branding is important for the city-TLD that the branding be established and well positioned so that people understand what it means to register under the new city-TLD.
  • Security is very important. The registry must make sure attempts to use domain names under the city-TLD phishing and spamming will be minimized.
  • They now have the rights to the new dotHongKong domain name in the IDN Chinese character set.  Jonathan encouraged city-TLD applicants to seek their IDNs.

As we approached the workshop's conclusion Wolfgang Kleinwächter reflected on his decade long involvement with Internet Governance and TLDs. At the second ICANN meeting in Berlin in 1999, when a debate started about new Top Level Domains, the gTLD registry had one member, NSI. Six people participated in a small workshop organized by the new TLD registry constituency. There was a debate from two different positions: Milton Mueller argued for hundreds or thousands of Top Level Domains. A big trademark owner took the opposite approach - indicating that a multitude of new TLDs would produce trademark problems and companies like IBM would need to register in all these Top Level Domains.

Wolfgang was amused to see after years of debate, thousands of pages or reports, and new TLD rounds, that the debate structure is basically the same. He stated that they were naive in 1998 as the whole process was far more complex than expected. Today the remaining difficulties and complexity were laid out in presentations by Hong Xue, Ana Neves and others. 

He noted that the workshop was listed in the agenda under Critical Internet Infrastructure beside other resources like IP addresses, both of which are now seen as key resources of the Internet economy.

Wolfgang noted two basic differences between the nature of the resources of the industrial economy and the Internet economy: the industrial economy is limited and linked to a territory, like oil or coal, while in a theoretical approach, the resources of the Internet economy, IP addresses and domain names, are not linked to a territory and are unlimited.

In terms of management and the question of limitation, he believes we should rethink our approach because in the IP address space - with the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 - we see the situation where some people see IPv4 as a limited resource and are seeking to monetize, through the creation of a market for IP version 4 addresses.

Summarizing his comments Wolfgang stated that history shows this to be a complex issue and we should take time, lean back and think about the nature of the resource and the Internet economy and the ramifications of city-TLD allocation and development. 

Sébastien Bachollet sees a future where three types of TLDs can be partly joined and work together in a gTLD governance stream: city-TLDs, cultural ones, such as .cat, and regional ones like .asia and .eu.

Today it is difficult to know where we might find a home for city-TLDs. He noted that Dirk Krischenowski took a step a few years ago toward finding a place within ICANN where relevant issues could be discussed. He noted that today's meeting demonstrates that we need a place to share the experience of the .nyc project, of the .berlin project, ideas generated by the likes of Werner Staub in Geneva and Ana Neves in Portugal, and ideas from the legal side in China. We need to be able to be together, and if the room is not set up for us within the ICANN framework, we need to build it ourselves, and then take it to ICANN and seek a way to fit it within the organization.

Sébastien presented several slides expressing the needs for a stakeholder organization with participants from the forthcoming registries: end user businesses and individuals, registry providers, and potential registrars. (And we can duplicate that for the regional and the cultural ones.) Additionally, people who have special expertise and are not dealing directly with one or the other project should participate. The idea is to push the projects and help ICANN fulfill its mission to have city, regional, and cultural TLDs, to allow exchange of ideas and bring the initiative to ICANN and say: we are 10, 12, hundreds of city TLDs, all with similarities.

Sébastien believes this can be done within the ICANN framework, and would prefer to do that way, but he said we need to move and that the ideas exchanged today will help move us in that direction. He concluded by thanking the moderator for organizing the workshop and urged that we continue on the road toward making city-TLDs a reality. See Sébastien's slides.

Q & A

Following the panelist presentations, there was a brief Q&A. Peter Dengate-Thrush, chair of the ICANN, asked about the availability of a list of cities the ICANN could work from, much as it did with the ISO 3166 list used as a basis for issuing TLDs to nation-states.

Sébastien Bachollet noted the existence of airport name lists that might provide a beginning point in creating a usable city list. And Thomas Lowenhaupt suggested that city-TLD proponents might work with the ICANN's Government Advisory Committee to gather a list of interested cities.

IGF and Workshop Links

Key .nyc Pages