fireworks.1.jpg June 26, 2008, Paris - After nearly a decade of planning, the ICANN approved a New TLD Policy today. Here is a clip from the ICANN’s press release:

Paris, France: The Board of ICANN today approved a recommendation that could see a whole range of new names introduced to the Internet’s addressing system.

“The Board today accepted a recommendation from its global stakeholders that it is possible to implement many new names to the Internet, paving the way for an expansion of domain name choice and opportunity” said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN.

A final version of the implementation plan must be approved by the ICANN Board before the new process is launched. It is intended that the final version will be published in early 2009.

“The potential here is huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net,” said Dr Twomey. “It’s a massive increase in the ‘real estate’ of the Internet.”

Presently, users have a limited range of 21 top level domains to choose from — names that we are all familiar with like .com, .org, .info.

This proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable. It is expected that applicants will apply for targeted community strings such as (the existing) .travel for the travel industry and .cat for the Catalan community (as well as generic strings like .brandname or .yournamehere). There are already interested consortiums wanting to establish city-based top level domain, like .nyc (for New York City), .berlin and .paris.

“One of the most exciting prospect before us is that the expanding system is also being planned to support extensions in the languages of the world,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s Chairman. “This is going to be very important for the future of the Internet in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia.” The present system only supports 37 Roman characters.

Upon approval of the implementation plan, it is planned that applications for new names will be available in the second quarter of 2009. was represented at the historic event with some of our thoughts noted in the International Herald Tribune, New York Times, and USA Today articles. (Commons photo courtesy of flappingwings.)

Filed June 26th, 2008 under City-TLDs, Oversight, ICANN

hotel-de-ville.jpg­June 25, 2008, Paris - When Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Rissika announced at the Hôtel de ville de Paris (Paris’ City Hall) that the City of Lights was taking steps to reorganize itself for the digital age using the .PARIS TLD (like .com, .org, and .us, but just for Paris), the audience erupted in applause.

Among the 1,000+ participants that jammed themselves into the former bastion of Kings to celebrate the 32nd meeting of the ICANN (the organization that responsible for issuing names like .paris and .nyc) was Tom Lowenhaupt, founding director of CnI. Mr. Lowenhaupt congratulated Sebastien Bachollet, president of Internet Society France and initiator of the .paris effort.

As the celebrants enjoyed the delicious food and magnificent facility, Lowenhaupt continued a discussion with Amadeu Abril i Abril, former ICANN board member and initiator of the .cat TLD (serving the needs of the Catalonian culture), about ways global cities could coordinate the development of their TLDs.

Filed June 26th, 2008 under Competition, .paris

­­­icann-paris-2008.jpg­­June 25, 2008, Paris - CnI’s Tom Lowenhaupt today presented the following before the ICANN board of directors.

I’ve been an observer and occasional participant in the Internet governance process for a little over 10 years now. During that time I’ve seen the concepts such as open & transparent, stakeholder, and multi-stakeholder flower here. The role and responsibilities of civic society are being shaped by the effort to establish a viable governance structure for the Internet. Today, Internet governance innovations are seeping into the UN via the IGF.

The organization for which I work, Inc., is a New York State not-for-profit corporation. As such it is bound by the U.S. and New York State constitutions and by statutes enacted by our legislatures. Those guidelines did not imagine an Internet or a .nyc Top Level Domain.

Much of my time these days is spent in research and discussions seeking an effective governance structure for the .nyc TLD. New York City is a baby in terms of global cities having been formed a mere 400 years ago. Our governance structure will be shaped by those years and the unique needs of merging the Internet into our complex society. And our governance structure will be different from that of every other city TLD.

The ICANN is a treasure of governance experiences. From the decisions that shaped the initial incorporation under the laws of the State of California; that then elected Ester Dyson as its first chair; to the process that elected Karl Auerbach and several others to the board of directors, to this week’s many meetings which explored its future.

I’d like to request that a new section be created on the ICANN’s website that presents the ICANN’s governance experiences. This would be of immense help to the cities such as New York, Berlin, and Paris as they seek their counterparts to ALAC, NCUC, the constituencies and advisory boards that will guide those TLDs development. And our pioneering experiences should be cataloged there for the many cities that will soon integrate that amazing tool, the Internet, into their cultures in new and exciting ways. 

Cities are the grassroots, the bottom-up, and they will increasingly play a role in Internet governance. Please provide some resources to assist our efforts.

Thank you all for staying to the end of the meeting and for your attention.

At the conclusion of his presentation ICANN Chair Peter Thrust thanked Mr. Lowenhaupt for his comments and indicated that such a body of knowledge was a reasonable request and should be developed. Mr. Thrush further indicated that other international organizations were using the ICANN experiences in their operation processes.

Filed June 26th, 2008 under Uncategorized

new-york-times-logo-small.jpgJune 10, 2008 - The New York Times published an informative article about the campaign in yesterday’s paper. The article was partially based on writer Jenny 8. Lee’s attendance at Inc.’s May 13th public meeting. Be sure to read the 25+ comments posted about the article.

Filed June 10th, 2008 under Media Coverage, .paris, .berlin, ICANN, City Agency

3-in-front-of-city-hall.jpgJune 9, 2008, New York - What caused the record breaking temperature on this blistering June day? While some will undoubtedly point to global warming, we think it was the exhaust left by our energetic team (at right in City Hall Park) as they deftly distributed our Names for a Livable City flyers at the civic center this morning dressed in their souped-up Fedders AC2008XO air conditioned .nyc t-shirts.

Matt, Tom, and Jeffrey positioned themselves at the front of the Municipal Building and as flyers flew, with city employees grabbing at them like Häagen-Dazs freebies, our cool crew clouded the downtown air with the exhaust from their high tech t’s.

The results from the effort were not yet available as our team headed off to Coney Island for a dip in the 63 degree Atlantic with a promise to return when the heat subsides. When completed the results will be included in in our Domain Name Allocation Plan.

Link to Inc.’s wiki pages.

Filed June 9th, 2008 under Marketing Tip, Civics, Education, City Agency

June 5, 2008, New York - On Monday morning we’re going to reach out to the public, particularly to city employees, to suggest intuitive .nyc domain names we should reserve to help create a more livable city: names such as and, dare we say, See the official notice about this and the many other Internet Week events.

Our supporters will be at major city office facilities inviting city employees to send good domain names our way. Everyone’s suggestions are welcomed.

When: June 09, 08:00 AM — 10:00 AM

Where: City Hall … Municipal Building … 250 Broadway

We need volunteers to help man these and possibly other sites - depending upon how many volunteers are available. Email if you have a few minutes to spare and want to greet city worker with a smiling face saying, “Got ideas for good city domain names? Check it out. ” and hand them a small piece of paper. Volunteers will receive a free .nyc T-Shirt. (See the event organizing page here.)

Filed June 5th, 2008 under Domain Names, Civics, Volunteers

June 5, 2008 - Great little story and link to the YouTube video from the May 21 presentation we made to the Internet Society. It’s entitled The Manhattan Grid of the Internet. GG’s focus is city news and policy.

Filed June 5th, 2008 under Media Coverage, Civics, Presentation

calendar.jpg­June 2, 2008 - June promises to be a busy month. We have long planned our participation in the ICANN’s Paris meeting, June 21-26. These are complex meetings with multiple concurrent sessions. CnI’s director, Tom Lowenhaupt, will be presenting the cause for city TLDs and .nyc at the event. See the agenda here.

Also long planned is our participation in the EGENI conference. On Friday, June 20, we’re to participate in the conference’s New TLD Catwalk. We’re not quite sure what this will entail. But the EGENI conference itself is packed with Internet and governance luminaries. See conference info.

And just recently we were invited to participate in the Global Internet Governance Workshop on Monday, June 23 at the Sorbonne. It’s going to be a busy week in Paris.

Prior to Paris we’re going to be participating in New York City’s Internet Week. We’re still finalizing our plans, but are hoping to get noticed. We could use some help covering some of the events. (Commons photo courtest of Spinstah.)

Filed June 2nd, 2008 under Presentation


June 1, 2008 - We were delighted to have the opportunity to present the case for city TLDs and .nyc to the New York chapter of the Internet Society on Wednesday, May 21. The presentation was made at the historic Jefferson Market Library branch of the New York Public Library. Mr. Lowenhaupt was introduced by David Solomanoff, president of the New York chapter.

The slide presentation laster about 35 minutes with several attendees questions answered afterward. A video of the event lasting a little over an hour was prepared by Joly MacFie. See it here. The 125 slides used in the presentation are also available on that page.

Thanks once again to the Internet Society, the New York Public Library, David Solomanoff for arranging the event, and to Joly MacFie for shooting the video.

Filed June 1st, 2008 under Civics, Presentation, Education, ICANN, Governance