• The .NYC Advisory Board Meeting #6 - May 12, 2014

last modified November 16, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

A report and comments on the May 12, 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

 Pre-Registration of .nyc Names

A Google search presents hundreds of sites offering to pre-register .nyc domain names (search.) Here are a few at the top of the list on October 18.

Comments on the state of the pre-registrations can be found on these sites.

  • NamePros.com - "I did pre-register some .nyc domains, and I realized that most meaningful one-word domains were already grabbed."
  • TechDirt



























The 6th meeting of the .NYC Community Advisory Board began at 11:30 AM in City Hall's Brooklyn Room. This report was prepared from the notes of Thomas Lowenhaupt, an Advisory Board member. [Questions and Comments raised subsequent to the meeting are presented in brackets.]

Meeting Report

  • Attendee Introductions

    Six Advisory Board members attended, 3 in person (Robert Pollard, Thomas Lowenhaupt, and Victor Wong from the Partnership for New York), and 3 conferenced in (Georgia Bullen, Jeff Ferzoko, and Veesh Jain). 5 from city government attended (Jeff Merritt, Sr. Adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio and an associate Torrey Fishman, and Will Colegrove, Office of the Manhattan Borough President, in person, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer via conferencing. Finally, Jeff Neuman from the contractor Neustar phoned in from Virginia.

  • Updates
    • Jeff Merritt opened the meeting by noting the various tech projects he was engaged with for the city: these included planning for the 11,000 wi-fi locations and Access NYC, in addition to .nyc TLD.
    • Jeff noted that information was changing the way we lived our lives. The .nyc TLD is important and how the different parts will be developed was a "chicken-and-egg situation." Some public parts might take a few years to roll out, such as the neighborhood names, which require the creation of structures to guide their introduction, others such as the Sunrise names, will occur sooner.
    • The Sunrise Registration Period (for trademark holders who have registered with the Trade Mark Clearing House) began on May 5 and will continue for 45 days. A quote from the mayor and BP Gale Brewer helped gather some media coverage for Sunrise. Jeff Neuman reported that 85 registrations were reported the first week. Neustar has several efforts to notify eligible entities including a booth at a trademark conference underway in Hong Kong. He expected the majority of applicants to arrive on the last weeks of the registration period.
  • General Discussion
    • 49 registrars have been signed up as resellers by Neustar. Jeff Neuman said some of these are already active. [No mention was made on recruiting and training local registrars. See our progressive city-TLD post for info on this missed opportunity to create local jobs in Domain Name Retail Sales.]
    • Verification - Jeff Neuman indicated that spot checking of Sunrise applications for nexus would begin in June. Mr. Lowenhaupt asked about concerns his organization has raised about the city's nexus policy being porous due to services offered by "virtual offices," "remailers," "private mail boxes," and other entities that provides those outside the city with the bone fides to create a local presence. Mr. Neuman requested that those more local than Neustar assist with identifying such entities. [Note: a post meeting discussion led to the creation of Nexus Support Program. Names or entities providing these "evasion" addresses will be posted on that wiki page for inclusion in Neustar's verification program. Additionally, language needs to be inserted into the extant domain name nexus policy that forbids use of these P.O. Box circumvention techniques.] 
    • Concern about price increases was expressed by BP Gale Brewer. Jeff Neuman informed that ICANN has a role in determining pricing policy and that should an increase be announced, name holders have the right to renew their registrations for 10 years at the existing rate. DoITT must approve price increases as well.
    • Robert Pollard raised a concern that existing entities will not be adequately informed about the opportunity to acquire their domain names. And he noted his regret that the original contract terms providing priority for city non-profits and others was not being followed.
    • Robert also suggested that the list of City Affiliated domain names names be proactively shared with the city council and other engaged parties.
    • Tom Lowenhaupt noted his belief that the nexus policy needed strengthening. He used the example of Rickys Cafe, a local diner, that lacks a priority right to that name in the existing Launch program. He noted that the .london TLD has developed a London Priority Rules providing existing entities with the opportunity to acquire their current names. (Download these Rules at https://www.coactivate.org/projects/campaign-for.nyc/governance-ecology-documents/London-Priority-Rules-Final-06-05-14.pdf.) Jeff Neuman said that between nexus and the proxy policy (guiding name transfers), adequate safeguards from poachers were in place. Additionally, Jeff Merritt noted the availability of the city Data Mining staff's availability to participate in the address validation process. Jeff Merritt noted that it is difficult to provide existing entities with access to their parallel domain names, e.g., RickysCafe.nyc.
    • BP Brewer noted her concern that whenever possible we accommodate those speaking different languages. It was noted that Google Translate was available for this purpose.
    • On a related note, it was noted that different scripts - Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew (up to 17) - could be made available at a later date. It was suggested that advisory councils were needed that could address complaints about abuses made in these scripts. [See Follow-up and Progress Report below.]
    • Veesh Jain asked if an auction provider had been selected for Sunrise. Jeff Neuman answered yes, noting that this same entity would be used in the Premium Name and Landrush auctions as well.
  • Founders Program
    • Jeff Merritt noted that it was the expectation that up to 50 entities would be included in the Founders Program (a part of the TLD's kick-off marketing campaign). 180 applications have already been received. 
    • Mr. Merritt asked board members about parameters for selecting from the many applicants, i.e., who should be part of the program? For example, should we assure each borough has a participant?
    • Jeff Ferzoco suggested having one participant from each of 3 scales of businesses that were started here in the city - one small, medium, and large business. 
    • Will suggested a landing page for tourism.
    • Media outlets were suggested as they offered reach.
    • The final decision on selecting participants will be left to the contractor (with the city singing off). [What are the standards the city will be looking at before to give that OK?]
  • Other Matters
    • On May 21 a meeting will be sponsored by the Partnership for New York to introduce BIDs to the challenges and opportunities presented by the TLD. Amongst the topics will be how they apply, the names they are eligible to receive, including in some instances, access to neighborhood names.
    • Robert Pollard suggested that the city have a clear policy on the operation of the neighborhood names. 
    • The mayor will mention .nyc in his May 19 Internet Week speech.
    • The Administration will do outreach to city agencies and the city council to advance the July City Affiliated launch.
    • A number of names have been reserved that can be used by agencies or perhaps given to community groups.
    • Jeff Merritt said the 800 name list he shared with the Board will be available during the 30 day Government Affiliated phase starting on June 25. These names will also be able during General Availability (beginning October 8).
    • Next months meeting will review some of the proposed marketing materials. A variety of sub groups are to be targeted.

The meeting ended at 12:25 PM.

    Follow-Up & Progress Report

    • See our progressive city-TLD post for the missed opportunity of creating local jobs through name sales.
    • Language needs to be inserted into the extant domain name nexus policy that forbids use of these P.O. Box circumvention techniques.
    • The need for advisory councils to oversee possible abuses in different scripts will one day be needed. English and Spanish will initially be provided. 
    • What are the standards the city will be looking at prior to giving its OK to the Founders Program?