• Launch Schedule

last modified February 15, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

The contract for the operation and marketing of the .nyc TLD  between the city of New York and Neustar Inc. calls for domain names to be issued according to the below schedule. (From the contract's Appendix C - Statement of Work)


Launch Schedule Comments
  1. Many of these Launch Comments refer to the text at left, and we've inserted an [Editors Note: See Comment # at right.] to assist readers.
  2. While paragraph (h) of the contract calls for launch through "a three-phased process," there seems to be a fourth phase labeled "(i) Premium Names" in the .pdf version of the document. Logic seems to indicate that it should be "(iv) Premium Names" and we've presented it as such in the HTML rendition at left. If we're correct, then (h) should describe Launch as a "four-phased process."
  3. Phase 1 will provide first dibs for 10 categories of registrants. This early registration opportunity is to last for 45 days as per paragraph (h)(i)(B). This seems to many to be an inordinately short period. One commenter, referring to the city's non-profits - (h)(i)(C)(2.) -  stated "The council member has been in office for 2 and 1/2 years and we've not been able to reach all the not for profits in our district." I brought this up with a representative of the contractor who commented to the effect "that it might be wise to leave the filing window open for those entities until Phase 2 begins." But if we must live with this, it is imperative that outreach begin immediately so that all can prepare and select during the 45 days.
  4. Paragraph (h)(i)(C)(8.) calls for BIDS to register during Phase 1. We've noted that BID names are unwieldy - the nearest one to us is 82nd Street Business Improvement District, Inc. - and should be provided with the opportunity to select a good domain name, in this instance perhaps Shop82.nyc. This same concern arises for a number of organizations. 
  5. During the Landrush of Phase 2, paragraph (h)(ii)(E)(2.) states that "Domain names shall be active upon registration during the Landrush Process." However, the implementation details of the process (h)(ii)(E)(4.) seems to indicate otherwise.
  6. While "Neustar shall promote the Landrush Process in a manner that creates awareness and encourages participation among the .NYC internet community." as per (h)(ii)(E)(3.), no similar requirement is called for in the Phase 1 registrations to civic and not-for-profit groups. 
  7. Perhaps our biggest concern is in (h)(iv) where it says "Neustar shall prepare and implement a Premium Name strategy that includes one or more of the following activities conducted during the term of the Agreement, with the objective of optimizing revenues:" [our bold]. We've not completed a thorough review of the contract, and for now, our support for the city's effort hinges on this statement. From the beginning, our effort has focused on the development of the .nyc TLD as a public interest resource. This clause challenges our confidence that the public interest has been adequately considered in developing the arrangement with the contractor.
  8. Phase 2 registrations go first to trademark holders and then smaller city businesses. The smaller city businesses may be charged higher fees than those with trademarks.
  9. With applications for 1,300 new TLDs pending at ICANN, we anticipate a changed Internet, a more intuitive place where people enter logical names rather than being dependent on search engines. So when (iv)(ii) says "Premium Name Auctions may take place either prior to, or after, the launch of General Registration." we are concerned that early users of .nyc might find the valuable, helpful, and intuitive "Premium Names" without content. 
  10. As of July 30, 2012, estimates of when the IANA action (entering .nyc into the root) will initiate the Launch process begin at Q4 2013 and go to mid 2014. 
  11. In Phase 2 (E)(4)(a) refers to "Applications for domain names will be received from Registrars and channels." without defining "channels."

 

The Perfect city-TLD Launch

Nobody shows up at landrush
as all current city needs
have been identified
and met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

The below was copied from the March 2012 contract between the city of New York and NeuStar Inc., a Virginia firm hired by the city to operate and market the .nyc TLD. It provides insight into the order and process guiding the issuance of second-level .nyc domain names. The contract describes four "Launch Phases" providing access to the pool of domain names to different classes of users:

    1. First, the contractor and city will identify high value names - news.nyc, hotels.nyc, sports.nyc, bars.nyc - to be issued "with the objective of optimizing revenues" for the city. These "premium names" will be issued through an auction, or through a Founders Program that will enable applicants, for a fee, to bid for use of certain names. (Detailed in Phase (iv) below.)
    2. Second access to the names pool goes to 10 different groups with city associations: from city agencies to city vendors and "digital startups." See (h) Launch Phases (i) Phase 1 below.
    3. The next class provided access is the city's existing "businesses, organizations or legal entities collectively" that have a city nexus and have paid city taxes in the most recent year. (See Phase ii below.)
    4. Finally, there's to be an ongoing General Registration, or "landrush," with the public having first-come, first-served access to the remaining names. (See Phase (iii) below.)

Each of these phases and groups is described in more detail in section (h) of the contract, as follows.

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(h) Launch Phases. Neustar shall implement the launch of .NYC through a three-phased process as described below: [Editors Note: See Comment # 3 at right.]

(i) Phase 1.

(A) Neustar shall commence Phase 1 within sixty (60) days after delegation of the .NYC domain by IANA to Neustar as described in Section 4(d) above. [Editors Note: See Comment # 10 at right.]

(B) In terms of eligible registrants purchasing second-level .NYC domain names, Phase 1 shall last forty-five (45) days. [Editors Note: See Comment # 3 at right.]

(C) During the period of time set forth in Section 4(h)(i)(B) above, the following categories of registrants shall be eligible to register second-level .NYC domain names:

  1. Government (City, State and Federal offices providing services in the City);

  1. City-Based Non-Profits (entities that provide services within the City and that are registered with the State of New York as not-for-profit corporations);

  1. City Concessionaires (private entities using City-owned property under contract with a City agency)

  1. City Franchisees (private entities using inalienable City-owned property to provide a public service under contract with a City agency);

  1. Retail Service Licensees (private retail establishments licensed by a City agency to conduct such business);

  1. Food Service Licensees (private establishments licensed by the City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide food service);

  1. NYC & Co. Members (members of NYC & Company (a not-for-profit membership organization that serves as the City's promotional arm and which operates under a concession agreement with the City));

  1. Business Improvement Districts (a/k/a BIDS) (entities formed by local property owners and tenants to promote business development and quality of life and which operate pursuant to the General Municipal Law and local laws authorizing private not-for-profit corporations to provide supplemental services to particular geographic areas of the City and which operate under contract with the City's Department of Small Business Services for such purpose); [Editors Note: See Comment # 5 at right.]

  1. City Digital Startups (private entities satisfying the following criteria: (a) their primary business objective is to bring to market products or services that are built from or whose functionalities are fulfilled using digital technology; (b) they have a physical presence in the City; and (c) they have registered with NYC Digital as a New York City digital company); and

  2. City Vendors (private entities from whom the City procures goods and/or services and are registered with the Mayor's Office of Contract Services).

      (D) All registrations during Phase 1 shall be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis.

      (E) The City shall be responsible for the authentication of each registrant in each of the categories set forth in Section 4(h)(i)(C) above as well as the validation of the domain names selected by such registrants.

      (F) Only after the registrant is authenticated by the City and the associated domain name is validated, shall Neustar complete the registration process for such registrant.

      (G) Phase 1 domain names shall be active upon registration in accordance with industry standards. 

(ii) Phase 2.

(A) Neustar shall commence Phase 2 within six (6) months after delegation of the .NYC domain by IANA to Neustar as described in Section 4(d) above.

(B) The only categories of prospective registrants that shall be eligible to register second-level .NYC domain names during Phase 2 are businesses, organizations or legal entities collectively (“Phase 2 Entities”) that:

(1) have a physical address in the City; and

(2) have paid City taxes within its most recent fiscal year.

(C) Neustar shall not be required to authenticate any of the registrants during Phase 2, but shall rely on self-certifications of eligibility and enforcement through the Nexus Policy described in Section 6 of the Agreement.

D) Phase 2 shall begin with a sunrise period for Phase 2 Entities that hold a trademark registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse in accordance with the final ICANN Applicant Guidebook (“Sunrise Period”).

  1. The Sunrise Period shall last a minimum of thirty (30) days.

  1. The Sunrise Period shall be limited to second-level .NYC domain names that are the same as the applicable trademark registration.

  1. In the event that there are multiple applicants for the same domain name during the Sunrise Period, Neustar may conduct directly, or through a third party, an auction to determine the registrant of such domain name. Such auction(s) will be at no cost to the City and Neustar will not be permitted to set off any auction costs against monies owed the City.

E) Following the Sunrise Period, Neustar shall accept domain name registrations from any NYC-Based Business, Organization or Legal Entity through a “Landrush Process.”
    1. During the Landrush Process, Neustar may charge higher wholesale fees to Registrars than it will during Phase 3 (as described in Section 4(h)(iii) below).
    2. Domain names shall be active upon registration during the Landrush Process.
    3. Neustar' shall promote the Landrush Process in a manner that creates awareness and encourages participation among the .NYC internet community. Promotional activities will include creating and distributing marketing materials for sales channels including Registrars and through marketing and promotional activities.
    4. It is currently anticipated that Neustar shall administer the Landrush Process in the manner set forth below; provided that such process may be amended from time to time with the written consent of the City, such consent to not be unreasonably withheld or delayed and at no cost to the City:

(a) Applications for domain names will be received from Registrars and channels.

(b) If only one application is received for a specific domain name, at the conclusion of the Landrush Process, such name shall be allocated to the associated registrant through their designated Registrar.

(c) If more than one application is received for a specific domain name, an auction shall be conducted, and the highest qualified bidder shall be allocated the domain name upon payment of the applicable fees to the auction provider. Such names shall be allocated to the associated registrant through then designated Registrar.

(d) Neustar shall provide reporting of all Landrush Process activities, as specified in Section 22 herein.

(iii) Phase 3.

(A) Phase 3 (to be referred to as “General Registration”) will be final launch phase that commences normal first-come, first-serve operations for all prospective registrants who fulfill the applicable Nexus Policy.

(B) All ICANN-required core functionality of .NYC must be in place when general registration begins, including WHOIS, DNS Resolution, standard business rules and billing, and any other core Registry Service

(C) Neustar shall commence Phase 3 within one (1) year after delegation of the .NYC domain by IANA to Neustar as described in Section 4(d) above. [Editors note: This refers to IANA's first activating the .nyc name.]

(D) All ICANN-required core functionality of .NYC must be in place when general registration begins, including WHOIS, DNS Resolution, standard business rules and billing, and any other core Registry Service.

(E) Domain names shall be active upon registration during General Registration in accordance with industry standards.

(F) General Registration shall run through the remainder of the Term and through any renewals of the Term.

(G) All registrations during Phase 3 shall be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis.

(iv) Premium Names  [Editors Note: See Comment # 3 at right.]

(i) At no cost to the City, Neustar shall prepare and implement a Premium Name strategy that includes one or more of the following activities conducted during the term of the Agreement, with the objective of optimizing revenues: [Editors Note: See Comment #8 at right.]

(A) Live or online auctions conducted directly by Neustar or through third party auction service providers selected by Neustar.

(B) Business development activities that result in the allocation of Premium Names to registrants in exchange for a negotiated payment, or in exchange for use of the Premium Names in a manner that that raises awareness of the .NYC gTLD such as advertising and marketing related activities.

(ii) Premium Name Auctions may take place either prior to, or after, the launch of General Registration. [Editors Note: See Comments # 9 in at right.]

(iii) Unallocated Premium Names may only be released upon mutual agreement of the Parties.

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For more on the .nyc contract between the city of New York and NeuStar, see here.

Key .nyc Pages