The Inside Story on ICANN 49 in Singapore

By Tommy Ho

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began its 49th public meeting in Singapore on March 23 with an announcement of new statistics and milestones intended to illustrate the progress of the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program.

Singapore_200wIn his opening remarks during the first of three global meetings in 2014, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé emphasized that more than 175 new gTLDs have been delegated and are live on the Internet, including .nyc, .cologne, .trade, and .机构 (Chinese for “agencies/institutions”). ICANN’s chair Dr. Stephen Crocker also talked about ICANN’s recently established office and presence in Singapore (and Istanbul) as an indication of the organization’s increased global participation.

However, most of the first day of business at ICANN 49 was focused on an announcement made a week earlier by the US Department of Commerce signaling its intention to transition the stewardship of ICANN’s technical function in managing the root name servers for the Internet.

While politicians and the media focused on the political aspects of this move, the emphasis at the Singapore meeting was on security, stability, and a long-term transition plan that would involve a multi-stakeholder structure.

The other notable updates from the week-long meeting included:

  • A press release highlighting the “deterrent effect” of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), noting that more than 500,000 TMCH claims notices have been delivered, of which “95% of the queries for trademark terms are not being followed through to a live registration”
  • The ICANN Board passing resolutions and approval of Specification 13, which is meant to provide special status to .brand TLDs in the program as they move forward and engage ICANN in the contracting process
  • The latest communiqué published by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), whose membership comprises representatives from various international governments, and which provided tacit approval of country names and 2-letter character codes at the second level for .brand TLDs (subject to an approval process)

For a complete wrap up of all the events and news from ICANN 49 in Singapore, join CSC’s Director of Industry and Policy Affairs, Gretchen Olive, for an exclusive web seminar on Wednesday April 2 (April 3 in Asia-Pacific) by registering here.

For immediate assistance contact your CSC Digital Brand Services Client Service Partner or Strategic Account Manager. If you are not a CSC Digital Brand Services client, please click here for a free new gTLD consultation.