New York City Plan to Seek .NYC Top Level Domain

New York City has become the first American city to openly state it will seek a generic Top Level Domain. The City of New York will seek the .NYC gTLD working with dotNYC LLC, a private company that for the last year has been meeting with city officials about the plan for the .NYC web address.ICANN, which has just released Version Three of its New gTLD Applicant Guidebook, is likely to call for applications for new gTLDs in 2010. While early 2010 was the date being aimed for by ICANN it is likely the date when applications will be called for will be pushed back to later in the year. There are still a number of contentious issues including security and protection for trademark holders that are to be finalised.The Guidebook has been changed significantly and the changes will be discussed at the ICANN meeting in Seoul in late October. As indicated by ICANN Chief Operating Officer, Doug Brent, “this third version of draft guidebook represents months of outstanding effort by many in the ICANN community – working to resolve the few, challenging remaining issues. This version is being released with materials that describe how public comment has influenced the changes presented in it.”The .NYC proposal has gained the support of several prominent New York identities including former Mayor Ed Koch, who supports the dotNYC effort to operate .NYC on the city’s behalf: “.NYC is the best real estate deal since the Dutch bought Manhattan,” Koch said.It is anticipated that upon approval by ICANN, .NYC will allow New York city residents, businesses, groups, government agencies and tourist attractions to register website names and have email addresses ending in .NYC – directly identifying themselves with the world’s leading city. Examples include: theater.nyc, pizza.nyc, blockparty.nyc, statueofliberty.nyc, yourname.nyc, yourbusinessname.nyc and millions more.Dozens of cities worldwide are expected to apply for their own top-level domains, including Rome (.roma), Berlin (.berlin), Paris (.paris), London (.london) and Barcelona (.bcn).Antony Van Couvering, the CEO of dotNYC and a Manhattan resident, is a founder of Minds + Machines, which provides technical services for new top-level domains. Following a series of meetings with city officials about the .NYC web address, Mr. Van Couvering was invited to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s State of the City address in February where she unveiled the city’s plan to pursue .NYC.”Today’s announcement that New York City will seek an operating partner for .NYC is a significant milestone towards a great online identity for all of us who live and work here,” Mr. Van Couvering said. “The city made the right decision about how to apply for this important asset, and we’re confident the city will make the right decision when choosing a partner.”

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