• Opposing Forces

last modified December 6, 2011 by tomlowenhaupt

Who or what might oppose something so beneficial and overdue as a city-TLD operated in the public's interest?

 Mr.Obama, tear down this wall!


President Obama, if you seek better cities, if you seek ways to bridge bureaucratic silos in developing urban policy, if you seek opportunities for small businesses, come now to the aide of cities. Mr. Obama, allow city-TLDs. Mr. Obama, Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!

(Photo courtesy of freephoto.com, text Ronald Reagan)











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 ICANN's creation in 1998 to issue new top level domains. It's nearly 15 years and a solution remains elusive. What's the problem? Here's a list of the forces commonly identified as opposing new TLDs and those benefiting from the current state of affairs.

[December 2011 update: With the ICANN set to receive new TLD applications in January, this page might require an update.] 


  • TLD owners profiting from the existing limited supply.
  • 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.

But little of this opposition is directed toward city-TLDs. Cities need to unite and demand their digital infrastructure.


Local opposition will differ by city. In New York City the opposition falls into two categories: sharks and bewilderment.

  • The first are typical of the human condition where various levels of need, greed, and ignorance drive some to acquire riches, indifferent to consequences. Today's shark is frequently found in the sheep's clothing of private public partnerships.
  • The latter arises with most anything new and is remedied by education and time.
In the instance of the .nyc TLD we offer this wiki, our blog and our other outreach efforts as part of this education process.


Also delaying the completion of a process for issuing new TLDs is the Newtonian complexity of creating a global governance process for the border bashing TCP/IP technology (the Internet).

Key .nyc Pages