Tuesday, August 21, 2012

.nz open 2ld consultation update

The consultation on opening the .nz second level domain space to public registration has now been going for 2½ months and has just over 1 month to go.

So far (assuming I've counted correctly) there have been 56 submissions published on the DNC website. I've read through all of them and there seems to be considerable support both for and against the proposal. I don't recall reading any well developed arguments in favour and have read several strongly reasoned arguments against.

Interestingly enough, a common reason raised for not opening it is that there is a risk of cybersquatting on existing registrants of and I haven't yet seen a good suggestion for a way to prevent this other than allowing them to register during a sunrise period. Given the way that so many small businesses are oblivious to the realities of their Internet presence I can see many of them missing their chance to register If they are genericsquatters I guess it will just be their loss, but if they have a genuine "fanciful" brand name I wonder how many of them really will face cybersquatting ... not that I'd risk it myself. If it goes ahead Tessa and I will certainly be applying for the .nz for our business domain names.

One group that have been noticeably absent from the consultation process so far are the legitimate domain name investors. I've only noticed one submission that's clearly from a domineer and that was against the change. I imagine that many of us are quietly rubbing our hands with glee at the prospect of swapping our names for the potentially more lucrative .nz names while others of us have staked out niches and are worried by the instability that may result.  It would be good if a few more active domineers made their thoughts felt, preferably with cogent arguments to support their positions.

In addition to the usual written consultations, the DNC is organising face to face consultations. Net Hui had a session to discuss the subject and they are holding public consultation meetings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin starting with Dunedin on the 22 August and finishing in Wellington on the 4 September with an on-line consultation on the 5th. Venue and registration information is on this page on their website. I'll be at the Auckland meeting, if you're there say "Hello"

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