• Hoboken.nyc

last modified March 2, 2013 by tomlowenhaupt

Hoboken.nyc is the title of a formal "Objection" we submitted to ICANN on January 16, 2013 concerning New York City's application for the .nyc TLD. While we strongly support the concept of a city TLD, there has still not been any public engagement in the planning process, hence our decision to file the objection.


Part of the .nyc region.

The Objection Bar
For an objection to be successful, the objector must prove the following:
  • The community invoked by the objector is a clearly delineated community; and
  • Community opposition to the application is substantial; and
  • There is a strong association between the community invoked and the applied-for gTLD string; and
  • The application creates a likelihood of material detriment to the rights or legitimate interests of a significant portion of the community to which the string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted.

From the GNSO Final Report

The task of the panel is the determination of substantial opposition.

a) substantial - in determining substantial the panel will assess the following: signification portion, community, explicitly targeting, implicitly targeting, established institution, formal existence, detriment

b) significant portion - in determining significant portion the panel will assess the balance between the level of objection submitted by one or more established institutions and the level of support provided in the application from one or more established institutions. The panel will assess significance proportionate to the explicit or implicit targeting.

c) community - community should be interpreted broadly and will include, for example, an economic sector, a cultural community, or a linguistic community. It may be a closely related community which believes it is impacted.

d) explicitly targeting - explicitly targeting means there is a description of the intended use of the TLD in the application.

e) implicitly targeting - implicitly targeting means that the objector makes an assumption of targeting or that the objector believes there may be confusion by users over its intended use.

f) established institution - an institution that has been in formal existence for at least 5 years. In exceptional cases, standing may be granted to an institution that has been in existence for fewer than 5 years.

Exceptional circumstances include but are not limited to a re-organization, merger or an inherently younger community.

The following ICANN organizations are defined as established institutions: GAC, ALAC, GNSO, ccNSO, ASO.

g) formal existence – formal existence may be demonstrated by appropriate public registration, public historical evidence, validation by a government, intergovernmental organization, international treaty organization or similar.

h) detriment – the objector must provide sufficient evidence to allow the panel to determine that there would be a likelihood of detriment to the rights or legitimate interests of the community or to users more widely.

Towards Accountability for the .nyc TLD
5 February 2013 - "Closed Generic" gTLD

ICANN is seeking public comment on the subject of "closed generic" gTLD applications and whether specific requirements should be adopted corresponding to this type of application.

Filing deadline is March 7, 2013.










Our objection was submitted to the ICANN's At-Large Structure, representing individual Internet users at ICANN, with the basis of our filing being damage to the community that will arise under the current city arrangements. The Objection and subsequent postings about the Objection are available here.

Our initial post was the following:

The application for the .nyc TLD by the City of New York in many ways purports to be a community application, citing community benefits in multiple instances, for example, using "community" or "communities" 12 times in answer to question 18. Yet when it comes to answering question 19, "Is this application for a community-based TLD?" - the city answered No.

Perhaps the decade long, stop-and-go global application development process for new TLDs was too convoluted for a local city bureaucracy. Certainly the ICANN did little to address the unique needs of cities, treating New York, Paris, Istanbul, Moscow, and Tokyo no differently than .band, .bingo, or .gold. And when it came time to complete the application, the city found itself unable to effectively answer the questions about community engagement required in questions 20:

  • 20(a). Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing to serve.
  • 20(b). Explain the applicant's relationship to the community identified in 20(a).
  • 20(c). Provide a description of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.
  • 20(d). Explain the relationship between the applied-for gTLD string and the community identified in 20(a).
  • 20(e). Provide a description of the applicant's intended registration policies in support of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.
  • 20(f). Attach any written endorsements from institutions/groups representative of the community identified in 20(a).

City government was incapable of answering these question in a robust manner as it had not engaged with the public in a significant and meaningful manner. The only public engagement was a required hearing by the agency responsible for submitting the application, the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The hearing was held a few days before signing the contract, announced by one "official notice" in an obscure government publication. No mention of the hearing was made in the traditional mass media. No briefing or background papers were provided for the public. As a consequence, fewer than 10 people attended the hearing and only 3 availed themselves of the 3 minutes speaking time allowed.

What is .nyc?

Officially, "NYC" is the International Air Transport Association’s designation for the metropolitan area. Thus one booking a flight from Chicago to New York can indicate a choice by entering the code for one of the region’s airports, indicating JFK, LGA, or EWR - for Kennedy, LaGuardia, or Newark airports. Or one can choose NYC to indicate no particular preference - “Just get me to New York via any of the area's 3 airports.”

Similar 3 character metro codes are used for London and its 4 airports (LON), Paris and its 3 metro airports (PAR), for Tokyo’s 2 metro area airports (TYO), and Chicago (CHI). (The assignment of these codes is governed by IATA Resolution 763, and administered by IATA headquarters in Montreal .)  To the IATA, and air travelers globally, NYC is a regional designation that includes an airport in Newark, New Jersey as well as two in New York City proper. 

Historically, the “NYC” characters have been used in the center of the tri-state region’s TV weather maps. And in recent years the City of New York has begun using a balloon typeface NYC on its stationery. But is the NYC string “owned” by city government and city residents?

Had city government educated and engaged the public it might have found New Yorkers preferred .newyorkcity or .newyork. But those hearings did not take place. And the city decided to use a regional designation for its own benefit.

The application for the .nyc TLD by the city of New York should be held in abeyance until the City of New York holds informed region-wide public hearings (if for .nyc) enabling the community to fully understand the consequence of the endeavor. This is a Critical Internet Resource that may well determine the effectiveness of the city's digital infrastructure for decades to come. Residents and businesses should have a say in deciding its use.

Thomas Lowenhaupt, Director

Connecting.nyc Inc.

Our Blog


Connecting.nyc Inc. is a New York State not-for-profit created in 2006 to educate New Yorkers about the opportunities that arise with its Top Level Domain. 

Our subsequent comments to the ICANN's At Large Review Group can be found here.

ICANN Review Process &  Timetable 

  1. At-Large Review Group: Decision by February 15.
  2. Regional Reviews: Approvals are needed by 3 of the 5 ALAC organizations.
  3. Objections receiving the approval of 3 of the 5 ALAC organizations is brought to The International Center of Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce serving as the Dispute Resolution Service Provider (DRSP), with a start date for that review of March 13.

Links for ICANN Review

Key .nyc Links