Consultation runs until the 27th of September (nearly 4 months).
According to the DNS site the proposals include (Slightly edited from the DNC site):
- Registration of .nz domain names could be at the second or third levels on an ongoing basis.
- Existing second level domains (such as .co.nz) will remain and continue to be supported.
- There will be no impact on the registration of any currently registered .nz domain names.
- Registrations at the second level will be on a "first come, first served" basis, except during the Sunrise Period and where there are currently multiple registrations of the same name in different second level domains.
- The Sunrise Period will be a designated window, where existing .nz domain name holders (registrants) can register their domain name/s at the second level if they are the only one that had that name at the third level before 9AM 30 May 2012.
- If two or more domain name holders had the same name at the third level, no-one will be able to register that name at the second level unless they obtain the consent of the other third level name holders. Alternatively, if all agree, it could become a second level domain instead.
- A temporary amendment to the Dispute Resolution Service Policy to cover sub-domains of generic domain names registered at the second level.
- Some names (e.g. com.nz, edu.nz) will be blocked from registration
It doesn't surprise me that they have done this. For several months DNCL's owner, InternetNZ, has been running scared of the possible effect of the proposed .Kiwi name on the profitability of the .nz business, and there were discussions about the "need" to do this back at the time of the member's consultations in February. The timing of the release 16 hours after the end of the .kiwi.nz consultation seems a little cynical and it would have been nice to have had this on the table at the time of making submissions on that but that's now water under the bridge.
I first read the proposal about 15 hours ago when it was published and have skimmed the associated documents. I fully intend making a submission at some point during the consultation process, but first I need to think through a number of issues
While it isn't uncommon for me to have a conflict between my own interests as the registrant of a fairly significant number of domain names and what I perceive as the public good, this time there seems to be an even wider divide.
I'm picking that it will be easier to interest international investors in .nz than in .co.nz making second level registrations far more valuable than third level domain names ever were. As a person with a large number of domains it seems that my personal best move is to strongly support the change then use the sunrise period to convert my .co.nz to .nz (mostly just dropping the .co.nz except for the ones that do well on type-in traffic already). I'm not too sure what to do about my developed sites, I might run both .co.nz and .nz for a while and see what happens or I may use 302 redirects to move traffic to where I'd rather have them.
On the other hand, I really believe it's a bad move for both New Zealand and for .NZ. While there will soon be a large number of new global top level domain names (gTLD), we have exactly one country top level level domain name (ccTLD) available to us. If we allow registration at the top level, doing this will mean we will never be able to create new 2lds to cover opportunities that arise.
We now know that .mobi flopped and I've just let my .mobi domain names expire, but imagine if .mobi had been a success. If there was a perceived need for a New Zealand oriented mobile device 2ld domain, we could have created a .mobi.nz 2ld as a service for Kiwis in the New Zealand space. Once we open the second level to registrations, if a future gTLD becomes a massive success we would no longer be able to create the .nz equivalent.
I've mentioned before that I'd like to see moderated 2nd level domains like .ltd.nz, .inc.nz etc.:
Moderated 2LD names could be useful if they are properly promoted.
Their big strength is that they go a long way to avoiding phishing attacks in the .nz namespace; when you go to a .govt.nz site, you know it is an official government site. If the banker's association could convince its members to play ball and promote it, you'd know when you went to a .bank.nz site that you were dealing with a registered bank.
I like the British .ltd.uk and wish we had moderated .inc.nz , .ltd.nz etc so there was a guarantee that you really were connecting to the organisation you wanted. What if when you registered a company, the companies office could also issue you with a .ltd.nz domain name? Rather than passively waiting for interested groups to propose new moderated second level domains, I'd like to see InternetNZ advocating the creation of 2LDs to suitable moderatorsAgain, something we'd lose the ability to do if we opened the 2ld level to registrations.
As I said above, I really need to think my position through and won't be one of the early submitters.