Friday, August 12, 2016

.AND for Google?

Round 1 of the ICANN new gTLD program
Google submitted an application for the .AND new generic Top-Level domain in the first Round of the ICANN new gTLD program but the methodology to apply - the "Applicant Guidebook" - did not allow Google to since ISO alpha 3 codes (ISO 3166-1 alpha-3) were prohibited as new gTLDs.

Charleston Road Registry INC, the Google's company dedicated to creating and managing new gTLDs for Google, had to withdraw the .AND application.

Round 2 of the ICANN new gTLD program
No one knows when Round 2 of the ICANN new gTLD program starts but I just read the latest GNSO Council Review of the Helsinki GAC Communiqué and noted this paragraph (point 4, page 6):
"Use of 3-letter codes in the ISO-3166 list as gTLDs in future rounds".

Basically it states that "the GAC advises the ICANN Board to:
  1. encourage the community to continue in depth analyses and discussions on all aspects related to a potential use of 3-letter codes in the ISO-3166 list as gTLDs in future rounds, in particular with regard to whether such a potential use is considered to be in the public interest or not.
  2. keep current protections in place for 3-letter codes in the ISO-3166 list in place and not to lift these unless future in-depth discussions involving the GAC and the other ICANN constituencies would lead to a consensus that use of these 3-letter codes as TLDs would be in the public interest.
The RATIONALE states: "In view of the intense debates and controversies over the use of geographic names in new gTLDs, the GAC requests that the community does not rush into a removal of the Applicant Guidebook protection of ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes".

Of course, there is a lot more being said and I suggest to read the Communiqué but this question opens the door to the possibility that Google could submit a .AND new gTLD application again in Rond 2

By the way, what does "AND" stand for?
No worry...it is just Andorra: the cheapest place to buy cigarettes and alcohol on earth ;-)

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