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VeriSign Supports New gTLDs with Appropriate Safeguards

The introduction of new Internet domains to the global marketplace has the potential to dramatically grow the domain name marketplace, increasing the value of domain names, driving new demand for registry services and opening new markets for registrars and registries alike.

Because VeriSign operates .com—the legacy generic top-level domain (gTLD)—many in the Internet community have assumed that we would oppose the introduction of new gTLDs. The truth is quite the opposite. VeriSign believes that the introduction of new Top-Level Domains creates one of the greatest opportunities of this decade, provided that appropriate safeguards are put in place to ensure security and stability, to control abuse and to protect rights.

New Domain Names increase interest in the market driving innovation and additional opportunities in the domain name space. The introduction of new TLDs should dramatically and permanently increase the size of the domain name marketplace.

While development of the new Top-Level Domains will surely bring new competitors, we are confident that the new markets opened by the new domain round will strengthen the domain name marketplace as a whole.

Increased competition among registry operators—as with the introduction of new domains in the previous two rounds—has always proven beneficial to the marketplace. We see no reason why that trend should change with the new TLD round.

The other, even more tangible, value that the new domain round creates for VeriSign and other established registry operators, comes in the form of new demand for third-party registry services.

For registries—like VeriSign—that offer backend services to other registries, the new domain round represents a significant business opportunity. VeriSign is already in talks with several prospective operators of new domains and intends to engage actively in the emerging backend services market.

None of this is to say that the new domain round comes without challenges. As the operators of .com, we know better than anyone the serious threats that face registry operators, and the extent to which those threats can wreak havoc in the network if not effectively mitigated at the registry level.

Given the importance of the registry function, it is also critical that new registries start from a position of financial stability and have clear mechanisms in place to protect registrants in the event of unforeseen events.

For both of those reasons, VeriSign strongly supports ICANN’s commitment to fine tuning the Draft Applicant Guidebook to ensure that it establishes appropriate standards and supports and effective, stable and secure rollout of new domains.

As that important work draws nearer to its close, we eagerly look forward to the launch of new domains. Indeed, we’re counting on it.

By Chuck Gomes, VP of Policy and Compliance, Naming and Directory Services at VeriSign

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Good News Antony Van Couvering  –  Oct 14, 2009 12:13 AM

Chuck, I’m glad to read this.  Count me in as one of those who doubted that VeriSign would be wholehearted in its support of new TLDs, for the reasons you’ve elaborated.  I’m delighted to learn that I was wrong. 

I’ll be even more delighted to see VeriSign put its significant resources to work to solve any remaining impediments to the introduction of new TLDs so that we can get them introduced in a timely fashion. 


Great to hear Richard J Tindal  –  Oct 14, 2009 1:38 AM

Great to hear Chuck,  and good to see Verisign taking a leadership position.  I think most advocates of new TLDs share your views.  Let’s get the necessary safeguards in place (the DAG already has a lot of these—but there are some additional trademark protections worthy of inclusion) and then let’s move forward so the domain system can see the sorts of innovation and customer benefit we see in other parts of the Internet.

Richard Tindal

Interesting Constantine Roussos  –  Oct 16, 2009 11:26 PM

Great to hear about Verisign’s position on gTLDs. It would make sense that VeriSign would support IDNs because there would be money to be made going after the .com and .net IDNs. I am kind of pleasantly surprised that VeriSign supports gTLDs, unless it is just a PR move.

Would be great if VeriSign does get more involved with the community to address the issues that are withstanding given its resources and market leader position in the industry. It would be somewhat strange if the market leader was not involved in the process. I think the community would be thrilled to see VeriSign take a real leadership position in support of new innovation in the gTLD space, open competition as well as providing consumers with more options.

Great to see you are on board Chuck. I hope VeriSign takes a more active role in the whole process given their market leader position and resources. Was wondering where VeriSign stood in regards to these important issues. Thumbs up.

Thanks for the post,

Constantine Roussos

Good post -- specific safeguards as followup? Christopher Parente  –  Oct 21, 2009 8:15 PM

Chuck—nice to see you weigh in with this well written piece.

As someone who was involved in VeriSign’s 2003 push for IDNs, I well know the devil is in the details. Will you follow this post up with another detailing specific safeguards VeriSign supports? Or does this already exist elsewhere on line?

Take care and I hope to read more about VeriSign’s position here on CircleID.

Chris Parente

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