What’s in Store for ICANN 54?

By: In: Technology Escrow On: Oct 16, 2015
What’s in Store for ICANN 54?


We’re off to Dublin for ICANN 54! I hope to meet with many members of the ICANN community face-to-face during the meeting (perhaps over a pint of Guinness), but for those of you who I don’t meet personally or who can’t join us in Dublin, here’s a quick overview of are some of the topics that will be covered, along with some other interesting tidbits about the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs).

But first, if you will be at ICANN 54, don’t forget to stop by the ICANNWiki booth for a copy of the Dublin edition of the ICANNWiki City Guide – highlighting “Bites & Sights” around Dublin. Until you get your City Guide, you can check out ICANNWiki’s ICANN 54 Primer online.


ICANN 54 Hot Topics

What are the important issues that will be discussed at the Dublin meeting? Domain Privacy, the IANA Transition, Accountability, the New gTLD Program, and finding the next ICANN CEO all promise to be hot issues at the meeting.  (As a side note, I encourage you to read this insightful article on current ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, in The Irish Times, in which he calls his role, “the most enriching job I have ever had, and will ever have.”)

Since Iron Mountain’s relationship with ICANN focuses on protecting registry data, registrar data, and new gTLD client data, I’ll focus here on what’s happening with new gTLDs.

Twitter’s plans for new gTLDs

Although they may be late to the party, Twitter representatives report that the company is planning to apply for new gTLDs. Although Twitter didn’t apply for any gTLDs in the first round of applications, Stephen Coates, trademark counsel at Twitter, recently explained that they will “absolutely engage” in the second round and that he thinks “.twitter would be at the top of our list” according to an article in Trademarks and Brands Online. Coates also goes on to say, “Brands are where the innovation in the gTLD space is going to happen.”

Second Round of new gTLD Applications?

So, when is the second round of new gTLD applications going to open? That should prove to be a hot topic of discussion at ICANN 54. ICANN has put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct a technical study, but the final report won’t be published until July 2017. Some industry observers predict that 2018 will be the year, but others expect it will be later; details on the process are outlined in this article in The Domains.

Three Registries Exceed 1 million new gTLD Domain Names Registered

Famous Four Media has become the third registry of new gTLDs to register over one million domain names, according to an article in The Domains. Donuts was the first to hit 1,000,000 domain name registrations, with the 100+ new domain extensions they offer. The .XYZ was the second registry to hit 1,000,000 domain names, doing so on only on one new domain extension, .XYZ.

Iron Mountain is the Registry Data Escrow provider for Famous Four Media and Donuts, protecting their domain name registrations with a Registry Data Escrow Agreement.

And, while we’re talking stats, more than 8.1 million domains have been registered according to the latest updates on ntldstats.com. These new domains stem from 764 new gTLDs that have been delegated (introduced to the Internet) by ICANN, which publishes a weekly update of stats on the new gTLD program.

How are new gTLDs protected?

If you operate a new gTLD domain, how can you ensure you are protected? ICANN has safeguards in place to ensure that the Internet and the businesses that depend on it keep running smoothly. ICANN requires gTLDs to protect their domain name registration data via a Registry Data Escrow Agreement. This way, in the event that a registry fails or falls short of meeting its requirements, ICANN can reassign its customer data to another registry to ensure that the domain-holding businesses do not suffer. Of all the new gTLDs delegated, Iron Mountain has signed Registry Data Escrow Agreements with over 75% of them.

Where to find Iron Mountain at ICANN 54 Dublin

As always, there will be a lot going on at this ICANN meeting. If you’d like to connect, reach out to me directly on Twitter @Shane_T_Ryan, call my US-based mobile phone at (00) +1-401-338-1101, or via email at shane.ryan@ironmountain.com.

And, make sure to pick up the ICANNWiki Dublin City Guide – in addition to info on ICANN, it lists recommendations for things to do and our picks for the best restaurants and pubs in Dublin.

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About the author

Shane Ryan

Shane Ryan, Enterprise Account Executive, Iron Mountain Intellectual Property Management. Shane Ryan has been running Iron Mountain’s Verification Services since 2002. Shane also handles the Registry/Registrar Data Escrow business for Iron Mountain Intellectual Property’s largest customer, ICANN. Shane is in regular attendance at all ICANN meetings and industry events. In addition, he travels often and conducts lunch and learns with large customers and law firms speaking on the importance of verifying the IP that Iron Mountain holds on their client’s behalf. Follow Shane on Twitter @Shane_T_Ryan