• The .NYC Advisory Board Meeting #4 - March 13, 2014

last modified April 2, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

A report and comments on the March 13, 2014 meeting of the .NYC Community Advisory Board.


Board Responsibilities

The Board's role includes:

"Meet four times per year and communicate through email to exchange ideas. Board members are to serve for a one-year term and will work on the following responsibilities:

        • Quarterly Board Meetings

        • Provide feedback on the development of .nyc including strategies for using, delegating and marketing the top level domain

        • Discuss future uses of the domain including public utilities, smart city ideas and future planning uses such as email addresses for residents

        • Act as a community ambassador  to provide updates to your constituency or sector, and relay feedback to the group

        • Provide input into policy and content for community.nyc" 

Beyond these fundamentals, the founding documents provide that the board's scope is to be decided by its members.

Board Members

About The .NYC Governance Structure

The following stakeholders are involved with the .nyc TLD. How they all relate and how does the Advisory Board's findings influence the TLD's development?

  • Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) - The city's contract administrator.
  • Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) - Through the Chief Digital Officer, facilitates government and public input to refining the contract.
  • NeuStar Inc. - Holds 5 year contract to operate and market .nyc TLD.
  • .NYC Advisory Board - See responsibilities above.
  • Connecting.nyc Inc. - In its role as an At-Large Structure, connects city residents and organizations with ICANN processes.
  • ICANN - Provides technical oversight of the .nyc registry.
  • Public - Expresses its desires through the above entities.


Initial Inquiries

Prior to the initial meeting of the .NYC Advisory Board members were asked to submit questions they would like to see addressed  We provided the following.

  • The Internet is the dominant enabling force of our time. How well our city utilizes this technology might well determine the quality of life for residents and its competitive place among global cities in the coming decade. How are we ensuring that .nyc maximizes benefits for our city as compared to other TLD cities? That is, how is .nyc better than .berlin, .paris, .barcelona, etc? (See TLD Cities map.)
  • How are we ensuring that this is a sustainable TLD? That good names are reused and not hoarded? That they are available for our children and their children? (See sustainable.nyc.)
  • What is the process by which reserved names are identified, selected, and allocated police.nyc, mayor.nyc, TimesSquare.nyc, etc.? (See city’s initial list at sidebar here.)
  • What is the process by which premium names are selected and allocated - news.nyc, sports.nyc, search.nyc, hotels.nyc, etc.? What civic responsibilities come with the names, e.g., must sports.nyc present links to the city’s high school and college sports?
  • Can revenue generated by the .nyc TLD be dedicated for digital development and divide issues rather than being put into the general fund?
  • What is the long term plan for governance of the TLD? The .NYC Advisory Board is for one year, what’s next?
  • What plans are afoot to create direct TLD jobs in the city - for registrars, for registries, etc?
  • What plans are there to encourage the offering of inexpensive third level domain names (third.second.nyc) to civic groups, students, small businesses, etc.?
  • What channels are being made available for the .NYC Advisory Board to connect with the public? Digital and otherwise?
  • What is the relationship of the .NYC Advisory Board with the contractor, DoITT and other TLD related entities?
  • What processes are being implemented to tie city operations into the TLD? For example, assuring that domain names such as John-and-MaryDoe.marriage.license.nyc and  QueensPower.electric.license.nyc are made available.
  • What processes are being followed to assure that civic, institutional, and small business entities are appraised of the opportunity to select their domain names and have suitable time to respond? (See launch schedule timeline.)
  • How are existing entities going to select their “equivalent” domain names - thus Bob&Mary’sBoutique.nyc does not work with the DNS (the “&” and “ ‘ “ characters are not allowed)? How do they are they to be provided with an opportunity to select a resolvable name, e.g., BobandMarysBoutique.nyc.
  • How are  sensitive issues of community concern to be addressed: sex.nyc, nigg*r.nyc, childporn.nyc, f*ck.nyc, etc.? As a government controlled resource, are there first amendment implications?
  • The fundamental question of which TLD to apply for - .nyc or  .newyork - was settled with .nyc TLD. Has thought been given to applying for both as is being done in Barcelona?
  • Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid are following an allocation plan called Namespace Mandates. Does New York have something equivalent?
  • Will an anonymized access to the DNS Data Log be provided to developers as open data?
  • What city outreach channels will be made available for the .NYC Advisory Board to communicate with residents?
  • Where does the TLD fit within the planning of the Digital Roadmap?  

Additional Inquiries 

After providing these 19 inquiries, other questions arose. 
  • What is the governance structure and process within which the .NYC Advisory Board operates? (See preliminary thoughts above in Organization Structure sidebar.) 
  • What opportunities does name leasing present?
  • The standard TLD metric is number of domain names sold. That is, the greater the number of domain names sold, the more profitable the endeavor and successful the TLD. What metric is appropriate for a city-TLD? We've opined that economic development and quality of life measures provide the appropriate metric. 
  • What Public Interest Commitments are being considered for the operation of the .nyc TLD?












































This page reports on the March 13 meeting of the .NYC Advisory Board. A report on the meeting and thoughts on possible follow-up possibilities are presented.


Several ideas were put forth in the meeting that we might develop further and consider for further development.

  • Communication
    • Member to member communication - (listserve - wiki)
    • Public to Board/city communication - (digital and f2f)
    • The notification processes for small businesses and community groups - what's planned and how can we help.
  • Names
    • Resident input on important domain names (Will's thought)
    • Search.nyc
    • Big Apps - Georgia suggested the EDC participate in attracting public input for names such as help.nyc, hotels.nyc (crowdsourcing/hackathon).
    • Crowdsource for names to block: nigger.nyc...
    • Crowdsource names that should be curated: news.nyc, sports.nyc
    • What about porn.nyc, do we dare profit from it by putting it on the premium name list? 
  • Oversight
    • Update on the dotNeighborhoods.
    • Report on "other bodies" that might be involved with the TLD's operation.
    • How do we get the public involved in policing .nyc, establish a flagging system like Craigslist?
  • Update from Neustar on creating opportunities for local registrars.
  • At-Large role in .nyc's operation. Preview of upcoming ATLAS II meeting in London.
  • Report from members on suggested outreach panels (This was on the previous agenda and it is not clear to me what is expected.)

Meeting Notes (draft)

[These "minutes" were prepared from the notes of Thomas Lowenhaupt and other members of the .NYC Advisory Board. They are not an official record.]

Attendees: Georgia Bullen (GB), Will Colegrove (WC), Jeff Ferzoco (JF), Noel Hildalgo (via phone), Vishal Jain (VJ), Thomas Lowenhaupt (TL), Jeff Merritt (JM), Jeff Neuman (JN) (via phone), Robert Pollard (RP), Maria Gotsch (MG).

Introductions - The meeting started with attendee introductions. With the change in administration, we had government attendees serving in new positions and two new members. Here are some highlights from the intros.

  • Jeff Merritt - Senior Advisor to Mayor convened the meeting. He’s worked for de Blasio for 4 years beginning at Public Advocate’s office. Earlier in his career he worked in the State Department  and as government contractor.
  • Will Colegrove - Works for Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Ms. Brewer was an early supporter of .nyc, having introduced a resolution in support of .nyc in 2008. She is interested in seeing how the TLD can help government and tourism including communities and community boards.
  • Robert Pollard has been involved with computers since 1966. He’s worked as a grassroots activist, co-founded the Baltimore Information co-op, and in 1989 founded a United Nations NGO “Information Habitat - Where Information Lives” which focused on the Rio Summit. He’s been looking at “big picture for .nyc … how it can be a catalyst for smarter New York City.”
  • Vishal Jain “Veesh” - Came to city in 2005. Did a startup. Now works with Google and helps manage their 97 TLDs. He hopes to bring the innovative thinking that his firm is bringing to TLDs to the .nyc TLD. For example, for .blog they are facilitating creating a content structure not just selling domain names. He offered to help review ICANN contracts.
  • Maria Gotsch (an original board members) - Noted that her organization (the Partnership) had access to 30,000 small businesses. Urged balance of profit and community thinking. The TLD should minimally break even.
  • Jeff Neuman - (Via phone.) with Neustar, Inc., contractor for application approval, marketing, and operating the city’s TLD. Noted that Neustar has renewed the .us registry agreement with NTIA.

Jeff Merritt then reviewed the meeting's goals and ground rules.

  • He’d appreciate solutions, not just complaints.
  • Give him actionable items.

Why .nyc matters? It is nothing now and needs to be made into something.

  • It will just be a tax if we don’t create a community (MG).
  • It needs to be both a community and business tool.
  • Don’t want it to become a big government bureaucracy (JM).
  • It has our name and will reflect the city (RP).
  • Just for New Yorkers / nexus (JM).

Status of the city hall transition: New employees are regularly being added. Currently many of those involved with .nyc are holdovers from previous administration. Involved are:

  • City Hall       
  • Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications - policy and legal
  • Law Department
  • NYC & Company - assuring brand focus
  • Small Business Services
  • Office of Media and Entertainment
  • The outreach effort will cut across all departments.

 A conversation on the city’s involvement brought up the following points:

  • Robert Pollard asked: What about City Planning, Long term planning and sustainability, and Economic Development Corporation? City open on how these entities fit in. While .nyc does not currently have a role in these areas it can / maybe should. Jeff Merritt is open to suggestions. He wants to bring in agencies with a specific ask.
  • EDC should have role with things like Big Apps competitions. Resident judging for some important domain names (WC). Merritt asked for input from Board members such as: “Can we get EDC to do xyz?” He’ll pass these along.
  • How much revenue comes from big name sales? (MG).  Their revenue projections are based only on General Availability (JN).
  • What is revenue cut (WC)? 60% to Neustar 40% of gross to city (JN). Policing policy is Neustar responsibility (nexus, whois), and a “lot of the marketing.” (JN).
  • What are city responsibilities? (WC). Supervise Neustar, provides some marketing help (JN).
  • Jeff Merritt spoke to CIO of Boston. Boston Globe is running their TLD and thinks contractor is essential to effective operation.

Defining the .NYC Advisory Board and role of members. (This turned into a wide ranging conversation with the following questions and answers.)

What is Board’s core function?

  • The board has no legal authority. It is what we make it (JM).
  • Bigger meeting OK. Needs to be productive/organized (JM).
  • How often should it meet? Need to exchange info between meetings (TL). There was a DoITT site using a .org. Tom will look for it. Perhaps a wiki and listserv (TL). Perhaps a google group (RP).
  • How are we receiving complaints. Is the .NYC Advisory Board part of that process (WC)?  No. (JM)
  • Advisory Board is for thinking about strategy and outreach. There will be a need for other bodies (JM).
  • We can look at registry policy before submission to ICANN. Policy document to ICANN specify how (and if) we can remove squatters (VJ). We can comment, but wary of general release of documents. Too complex a question (JM). Sunrise, General Availability, Nexus, plans will be submitted to ICANN in week or two (JN).
  • Will the role of Advisory Board change pre and post launch (JF)? Board's role changes when we get to licensing and community side of TLD’s development (JM).
  • We need to meet more frequently in coming months (RP).
  • What about street names? Who get to buy Broadway.nyc (RP)?
  • Will .nyc complaints be the responsibility of city government (MG)?
  • What about a camera purchase that goes bad - do they go to Neustar or Consumer Affairs (TL)? If there’s a nexus violation - Neustar. A business violation to Dept of Consumer Affairs (JM).
  • Education outreach is important (GB).
  • People will see .nyc as a brand, not associated with city of New York (JM).
  • City’s nexus policy will certify that .nyc companies are in city. Any more than that (WC)? Might we associate with “Made in New York” program (GB)? Founders program does this (JM). Proxy and nexus keep .nyc names in New York (JM). City analytics will be in touch with Neustar analytics to keep this sorted out (JM).
  • We need to self police our TLD as Craigslist does through a flagging button. We need to create pride in .nyc (JM).
  • Must websites host in city (GB)?  JM had conversations with NYC & Company conversation on selling sites with names.
  • Will Neustar facilitate registrars in city (TL)? Talking to Chambers of Commerce, BIDs, and Founders to determine if they are interested in selling names. No locally owned registrars now in city (JN).  (Explain this to WC - Send Ferzoco note to WC.)
  • Bids could sell third level names. For example Dumbo.nyc could sell third level names such as Restaurants.Dumbo.nyc (JM).

Timeline and phases of the .nyc rollout

  • In March Delegation will occur. nic.nyc will be first name.
  • Sunrise names go live June 21.
  • After Sunrise city gets its domain names (30 days).
  • August - Landrush begins (60 days).
  • Premium Name auctions begin in August and will last for a multi-year period (JN).
  • September - Landrush ends.
  • October - General Availability and Landrush auctions.

Premium name strategies

  • Premium names (generic terms with high value in commercial or public benefit sense) will be reserved and not available during Sunrise (JN).
  • City use of intuitive domain names specific to government functions and entities gov.nyc, police.nyc, fire.nyc, vote.nyc, etc. City is looking at domain names the city uses now and which sites are most heavily visited? What are people calling 311 about (JM)? Parking is # 1 thing people call 311 about (JM).
  • Entities affiliated with government - community boards, BIDs. BIDs will have 3 paths: Path 1: city reserves a basic intuitive name, e.g., 125thStreetBID.nyc.  Path 2: Founders program - make case to Neustar about how their use of names will benefit the .nyc brand. Path 3: Neighborhood names - city will hold these names and the BID can apply for a license as a public benefit organizations. The BID might be competing with a Harlem Neighborhood Association for the name. 

Founders Program

This will establish what the brand is for .nyc. March and April to identify 100 key strategic partners: Cultural institutions, key businesses. Goal is to tap into their roots and the identity of these 100 entities (could be more or less) (JM). No limit on founders names (JN).  Founders must switch to .nyc - dailynews.com would need to change to dailynews.nyc. Possible founders: Macysdayparade.nyc (MG), TKTS.nyc (JF). Regular fees for names (JN). moma.nyc, grimaldis.nyc, etc. Founders names will help promote the Landrush program.

Marketing Campaign by Neustar starts in July

NYS Trademark - What can be done to protect these names (TL)? Founders program is one option (JM). We don’t want to get into arbitrating the real Ray’s Pizza (JM). Discussion on JeffsCoffee.nyc and lack of protection for existing entity. People might end up on city hall steps to complain about paying for Trademark, getting no protection, and then having to enter into an auction (TL). People on steps might be a sign of success (GB). Is there any protection from a competitor buying JeffsCoffee.nyc and trashing the existing / real JeffsCoffee? (WC) No.

Georgia asked about example.nyc. It must be reserved (VJ).

Jeff would like to know domain names the city should reserve. Send them to him ASAP (JM). Data.nyc (GB). Basing choices on science - what people are currently using (JM). AllThingsData.nyc (GB). City will reserve the 355 neighborhood names Connecting.nyc Inc. identified.

Licensing - The city is looking to create a structure to license “Public benefit names”  to public benefit entities: for a duration of time, with strict criteria, including ad space, and spelling out usage (JM). In instance of neighborhoods, they can act as hub for the community, issuing 3rd level names. Portal for neighborhood. It’s an attempt to set aside part of city’s landscape and create long term opportunity. I think neighborhoods are the correct way to do this because neighborhoods are what the city is all about (JM). Not going in this direction with street names. Goal is to not try and control everything (JM). Advisory Board should be involved in the terms of that licensing agreement (RP). Lawyers are putting together an agreement to see what it would look like (JM). Students from Brooklyn Law can contact Jeff Merritt (JM).[a]

Biggest group of reserved names is the blocked names. fdnymerchandise.nyc,         departmentofbuildings.nyc, etc. City acquires these as protection (JM).

What about premium names, e.g., news.nyc? Any leveling process (TL)? NYC & Company - some are being retained. News.nyc will go to highest bidder (JN). Founders program might be good for news.nyc (JF). Curation might be part of this program (JM). Diversity of bidders might be served by extending the application period (TL). What about porn.nyc, can we profit from it by putting it on the premium name list (WC)? Should we take them off the table to prevent misuse (JM)? And sensitive names like 9/11. (JM) is open to suggestions.

Public Spaces - (TL) asked about reserving names for use as public spaces. Jeff Merritt said we don’t want to block out sites that we don’t want to run and don’t know who will. If there are names with a clear value to the New York community or government functions we do want to reserve (JM). Search.nyc will be reserved (JM). Have a competition like Big Apps for search, help.nyc, hotels.nyc (GB).

(RP) asked if city’s 40% revenue could go to an education fund, possibly to extract neighborhood info from city databases. (JM) said earmarking might be difficult but we can seek city funds. Perhaps EDC could be part of funding a project that enhances the community by exploring the use of domain names, competitions, etc. (JM).

Privacy Button

This must be in the Registry/Registrar agreement. (JN)

Is there anything unique in our Acceptable Use Policy (RP)? Privacy could be addressed through city law (JM).

Public outreach channels - what city channels exist? Finance can send out tax forms… taxis have screens… what are non-city channels (JM)?

When Founders Program is ready we will go to press to promote. Start April 15 to May 30 (JN).

   1. Identification of Strategic Partners       
   2. Outreach to Strategic Partners [April - May]       
   3. Awareness in Collaboration with Strategic Partners [July - September]

Non-profits take several months to get on their agendas. Need longer notice (RP).

Next steps:
   1. Please do research on strategic partners
   2. Outreach panels (JM).

The meeting ended at 5:45.

Related Pages

Key .nyc Links