• The Acquisition Campaign

last modified November 23, 2011 by tomlowenhaupt

­Before we can fully engage in our education  mission, New York must acquire a Top Level Domain or TLD. As of June 2011 ICANN had approved a new TLD program and the city of New York indicated support for the acquisition of .nyc. But its support is not necessarily for the TLD's development as a public interest resource. Follow our effort to guide the acquisition of New York's TLD as a public interest resource here.

Acquisition Timeline

Below is the .nyc TLDs historic timeline and our projections of significant upcoming events. (As of October 2011.)


  • Q3 2013 - The .nyc registry lives!!! (est.)
  • Q2 2013 - Civic applications loaded.(est.)
  • Q1 2013 - Citywide awareness campaign begins. (est.)


  • Q4 2012 - ICANN appro­ves .nyc TLD application (optimistic est.).
  • January 12 - April 12, 2012  ICANN accepts new TLD applications. See Application Guidebook.


  • December 6, 2010 - Filed comments with NTIA on Global Flow of Information and Innovation.
  • October 27, 2010 - General Meeting with Jack Eichenbaum, the Queens Historian, and Richard Knipel of Wikimedia-NY. Report.
  • September 14, 2010 - We organize Internet Governance Forum, Vilnius, Lithuania: City TLD Governance and Best Practices. Report.
  • June 17, 2010 - Begin NYCwiki.org collaboration with ISOC-NY and Wikimedia-NY.
  • February 27, 2010 - Connecting.nyc Inc. Board of Directors meeting.
  • January 26, 2010 - dotNeighborhood meeting.


    • October 23-28 - Attend ICANN meeting in Seoul.
    • October 5, 2009 - City of New York issues Request for Proposals for .nyc contractor.
    • October 2009 - ICANN issues 3rd Draft of New TLD Guidebook.
    • October 3, 2009 - Outline DNS/GIS/IoT at Pecha Kucha at NYU.
    • September 29, 2009 - Presentation before Future of Local Media
    • September 22, 2009 - We sponsor and make presentation at OneWebDAy
    • June 29, 2009 - Testimony to City Council on use of .nyc in support of Intro 991.
    • June 24, 2009 - dotNeighborhoods meeting at the Neighborhood Preservation Center.
    • June 8, 2009 - NTIA Comments on Cities and ICANN Representation
    • May 27, 2009 - Request for Information submission to DoITT.
    • May 6, 2009 - Sponsor first  dotNeighborhoods meeting.
    • March 1-6, 2009 - Attend ICANN meeting, Mexico City.
    • March 2009 - ICANN issues second Draft Guidebook new TLDs.
    • February 12 - New York City Council Speaker Announces Support for "standard" .nyc TLD.
    • February 15 - Comments filed at NTIA on JPA (Joint Project Agreement with ICANN). See filing.
    • January 22 - Presentation on 2.0 features of The Civics Project. ­See report.
    • December 2007 - IRS 501(c)(3) application filed with U.S. Treasury.
    • November 12-15, 2007 - Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio. Connecting.nyc invited to participate on panel. See report.
    • October 29 - November 2, 2007 - Attended ICANN meeting in Los Angeles. See report.
    • June 23-29, 2007 - ICANN meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Connecting.nyc Inc. participates on new TLDs panel. See report.
    • April 11, 2007 - Connecting.nyc Inc. created as N.Y.S. not-for-profit corporation to acquire, develop, and operate the .nyc TLD.

    • February 21, 2003 - Meet with Deputy Mayor Doctoroff's office on .nyc.



    • Committee hearings at Queens Community Board 3.


    • March 1998 - Comments filed with NTIA.


     Overarching Issues

    • TLD Name Choice - .nyc, .newyork
    • Governance  - NFP, government agency 





























    ­The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization responsible for issuing new top level domain names (TLDs), has initiated a process that will result in additional TLDs being issued in 2012. (See the Acquisition Timeline at right.)

    Now that the ICANN has approved a New TLD Policy enabling the New York community to acquire the .nyc TLD, we are organizing support for .nyc's development in the public interest. (For the basis of our support of the public interest see Towards City TLDs in the Public Interest.) We stand ready to undertake tasks to assure .nyc's development in the public interest: research, education, and governance.


    With the Internet's flowering in the mid-1990s, the need for additional domain names became apparent. To address the issue, the Clinton Administration fostered the creation of ICANN in 1998 to issue new top level domains or TLDs. Its nearly 15 years and a solution remains elusive. What's the problem? Here's a list of forces commonly identified as opposing new TLDs.

    • TLD owners profiting from the existing order.
    • Search engines profiting from the existing disorder.
    • Trademark owners seeking to broaden the scope of trademarks from local consumer protection to exclusive global franchises.
    • The nation-state system concerned about change empowered by ethnic and cultural TLDs such as .kurd and .kashmir.

    Only the later opposition might be thought of as directed toward city TLDs. But in the U.S. at least, there is no sign of active opposition of the nation-state to city TLDs. (See more here.)

    How You Can Help

    We seek volunteers and interns to help with a variety of tasks.

    • Bookkeeper / Financial Guidance.
    • Public Relations - posted request on Idealist.org, for intern and volunteer.
    • Brochure Designer 
    • Online community manager for our Facebook, Idealist, Meet-up, etc. sites.

    • Do a report like this Central Park report on the advantages of an intelligently developed .nyc TLD.
    • Generate Local Support
    1. Arrange and/or make presentations to individuals, business, civic, and government organizations. See the local networking opportunities.
    2. Make presentations to Community and Borough Boards

      The following identifies opportunities for involvement and ­rough estimates of task completion.

      • Framework - Create a legal form, organizational structure, identity - mission, name, logo, etc. - to support the effort. See the Operating Environment for details. (75% complete.)
      • Generate Local Support - Prepare a demonstration of support from city residents, government, businesses, and institutions. See the local networking opportunities page for ways you might help. (55% complete.)
      • Marketing - Generate media in support of local, national, and global campaign to acquire the .nyc TLD. Convince the ICANN that a .nyc TLD benefits all Internet stakeholders. (20% complete.)
      • TLD Application Preparation - Oversee and help prepare proposal responsive to ICANN RFP. Proposal is to highlight benefits New York City and the Internet. The RFP will require an application fee in the "low six figures". (See the ICANN TLD Application Process page for details.) The application development period will be short and expensive. (15% complete.)
      • Gain ICANN Approval - In previous instances, the review and award process has been long. ICANN's board members represent the global Internet community and are not readily available for face to face expositions. A variety of channels must be used to inform the traditional Internet stakeholders and ICANN board members about the need for, and benefits of, the .nyc TLD. See TLD application processing diagram.
      • Operating & Development Environments - The broad outline of the operating and development environments must be readied for inclusion in the TLD application. The Operating Environment's Domain Name Allocation Plan (DNAP) and theregistry's operation plans must be detailed in the application. And the Development Environment must be presented with general direction and modesty.
      • Advisory Network & Board of Directors - The Campaign evolved from a Community Board's desire to see the city prosper in an Internet era. Public participation and control of of the TLD is vital. This wiki, our advisory network and board of directors are part of the effort to assemble that control. See the duties and opportunities in these governance areas here. (35% Complete.)
      • Budget - The budget requirements will become more clear with the ICANN's publication of the Application Guidebook and determination of our role in ongoing operation. Best current estimates suggest a budget of 1,500K with 185K for the ICANN's application processing fee.
      • Financing - With the city unprepared to secure the .nyc TLD, our philosophy from 2005 to 2009 was to thoroughly scope the situation, create a viable plan, and present our initiative to funding sources. A few opportunities arose for focused development support with applications submitted to several organizations. Moderate success, i.e., ability to continue to forward to organization's mission, has been achieved. In 2009 we put our trust in the city to follow up on their commitment to development the TLD based on a community plan, and redirected our efforts to support that policy.

      Support Materials

      Media Coverage

      • nTLD News, January 21, 2011 - An In-depth Look at .NYC 
      • CircleID - The Battle for ".nyc": Is RFP the Answer?
      • The Villager,  October 14, 2009 - ".nyc cyber struggle pits local pioneer vs. city and Kotch, too"
      • Inhabitat, October 7, 2009 - "Crowd-Sourced Initiatives to Create a More Livable City"
      • Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2008 - "Naming Rights - Are you plagued by a bad online address? You may soon have a shot at a better one"

      Marketing Materials - Extant

      Marketing Materials - Needed

      Suggestions for needed materials such as videos, animations, games, a jingle, and events may be found on the marketing materials page.

      Digital Campaigns

      With the social networks boom, many opportunities exist to promote and develop the .nyc TLD. Most of our online time goes into our website, wiki, and blog. What other online time we have goes to the following. Meeting notices are posted to all. 

      • Badger - Upload photos of bad domain names. Account in directors name. 
      • CoActivate - Our wiki and blog community. 
      • Eventbrite - Ticket and marketing for events. Use this account.
      • Facebook - Started a group and cause on October 25, 2007. Join and add your two cents. 
      • GPlusHangouts - For Google+ Hangouts.
      • Idealist.org - Initiated on August 17, 2007. 
      • Lists - openny, ITP, governance, do, ISOC,
      • MySpace - We've an account, but it and myspace seem to have expired.
      • Meet-up - To support local meetings in support of the .nyc TLD.
      • Ning - Started February 3, 2008. Closed September 2010 when they asked for money. 
      • NYCShare - A 2011 effort by the city's DoITT. We've created a group on the .nyc TLD. 
      • Occupy Wall Street / Nurturing the Commons
      • Pmog - A useful game for leading supporters around city websites in a search for supporters of .nyc.
      • I'm On Board - This page guides a mechanism for organizing support for the .nyc TLDs acquisition.
      • The Point - It's like a tipping point for a certain action. Need to pick an action and work it.
      • Twitter - A few accounts - one under director Tom Lowenhaupt's name.
      • UserVoice - Here we take in public opinion in its rawest form.
      • YouTube Page -

      Atomic Campaigns

      Our atomic campaigns are face-to-face opportunities for connecting with fellow New Yorkers -  offline, not online. 

      See our calendar for upcoming atomic opportunities.

      Volunteer and Intern Levels of Involvement

      The following was prepared by Open Plans as part of a discussion of levels of commitment with civic engagement.



      Those providing support for the campaign can be found here. And see how others have helped for additional ideas.

      Prize .nyc

      Those making a code contribution in support of the .nyc TLD have the opportunity to receive The Prize .nyc. See details here.

      The Creative Trust

      Opportunities arise to present the .nyc TLD message in new locations and media requiring creative reconfiguration of our message. These opportunities are presented and addressed on The Creative Trust page. And see the physics of Opposing Forces .

        About This Wiki

        This wiki follows up on a 2001 resolution by a New York City community board calling for the acquisition of the .nyc TLD. In 2006, with the TLDs need and benefits increasingly apparent, Thomas Lowenhaupt initiated this wiki. A longtime community board member, his public involvement with the Internet dates to comments filed with the Department of Commerce in 1997 advocating set-asides for entities not then engaged with the Internet. In June 2006, as the opportunity to acquire .nyc rose again, Mr. Lowenhaupt initiated this wiki and other activities to support the TLD's acquisition. In his capacity as the campaign's interim director, he invites all New Yorkers and Internet users from around the sphere to join the campaign.

        Completed Tasks

        Many tasks have been completed - business plan, incorporation as a N.Y.S. not-for profit, website, wiki, blog – and many more lie ahead. This page id­entifies and coordinates the identification and assignment of tasks to guide the .nyc TLD's development as a public interest resource. View/Add to our completed tasks archive.

        Resource Links

        Key .nyc Pages