Icann report praises, rips domains

Icann meets next week to choose new top-level domains to supplement .com, .org, et al. Today, Icann staffers give their own opinions on the winners and losers

The proposed top-level domain .air may take flight. And it's certainly not over for .fin by a long shot. The information looks good for .info, and .one looks like it's the one.

So say Icann staffers, who Friday issued a long-awaited report on the 44 applications Icann received from companies hoping to create new top-level domains and, in most cases, become the registry and registrar for those domains.

The staffers ripped some, praised others. They also concluded what types of top-level domains (TLDs) the board should consider when it meets next week, favouring general-purpose domains over specialty ones.

Nearly half got some form of positive review, from being called the "strongest" or dubbed "likely to create a successful TLD". But the other half were given thumbs-down from the same staffers.

Icann board members meet next week and will discuss the staff report.

But what the new top-level domains will be -- they will supplement the existing .com, .org., .gov, and the like -- and who gets the money-making role as registrar for these domains, may not be decided by next week.

The most hotly sought-after domains were .kids and .biz, with multiple applications for each. However, Icann has indicated that it probably will not recommend .kids.

There were four applications for the .kids domain, which people had hoped would serve as a kids-safe Web area. The application from .Kids Domain was "the strongest application in the area", according to Icann staffers.

But the winner isn't as clear cut for .biz. Staffers liked three of the five applications, calling them "stronger".

Other applications getting the thumbs-up included .mus, submitted by the Museum Domain Management Association, which Icann staffers said "could lead to a successful" venture.

The submission of .per -- meant for use by anyone wanting his or her own personal Web page -- was a "solid" submission from applicant JV Team.

The domain .travel -- submitted by International Air Transport Association, an 80-year-old airline industry group -- "could lead to a successful new TLD", staffers wrote.

Another would-be winner is the World Health Organisation, which wants to create .health, Icann staffers said.

Good news: ICANN is about to approve new top-level domain names. Bad news: It won't do a thing to improve the Internet. Jesse will tell you why. Go to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

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