Not your usual suspects
This summit has a different setup compared to regular ICANN meetings. The main difference is that only the contracted parties will be engaging, i.e. Registrars and Registries and of course ICANN, allowing us to deal with topics that normally aren’t on the agenda.
What’s on the menu?
A whole array of topics will be discussed during these three days. Let me give you a little background information regarding some of the sessions.
TLD & Universal Awareness, not to be confused with Universal Acceptance.
Reality has kicked in for the Registries: the registration projections for the new gTLDs have now been replaced by more realistic numbers and everyone agrees that the new gTLDs are in for the long haul. This session, led by the Domain Name Association (DNA), will discuss how we can all create more awareness.
New gTLDs: Getting to the next round
That’s right: there will be a next round. I predict that, somewhere around 2020, you can apply for new TLDs again. There is some talk that this round will be mostly used for brands to apply for their own TLD. On the other hand, ICANN warned 200 brand owners to move ahead with their TLDs as they have made zero progress in the current round. All things considered, it will be an interesting discussion for sure.
Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI)
Botnets, malware, phishing: abuse comes in many forms and is becoming a threat to our industry. The threat being that governments will try to get a grip on this. Governments are usually not technical driven organizations and, even worse, often do not understand technology. In my opinion this makes them the least likely candidate to deal with this “abuse” problem. In conclusion: we need to get ahead of this issue.
Universal Acceptance (UA)
In my opinion this might be the most important topic of the summit. Let me explain the issue with an example.
The TLD .SOCIAL suddenly became very popular in South America a year ago. A lot of people there registered .SOCIAL only to discover that the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in South America where not supporting .SOCIAL. In fact, .SOCIAL was not working at all. Moreover, most of the ISP operators had no idea that a lot of new extensions had been released, causing major problems in all layers of the networking infrastructure.
This problem is still ongoing and ranges from apps not supporting new gTLDS to email servers not delivering email. Even though ICANN cannot solve this problem, the corporation does support the Universal Acceptance Group by any means to get this issue under control.
Room for more.
There is more on the menu during the summit for sure, but in my opinion, the topics mentioned above are the most interesting ones. Nevertheless, I expect the rest of the topics to be pretty good as well. Stay tuned for an update after the summit. Interested in all topics? You’ll find the complete agenda here.