Your New TLD: Build It or Buy It? – YouTube Video

traverselegal - July 2, 2014 - Internet Law, New gTLD Application Process

Is your company applying for a new top-level domain or to keep it short, a TLD?  If so, who’s in charge of your new TLD project?  Well, to help us better understand who is in charge at companies contemplating new dot-brands domains, we asked Business Intelligence Agency, VansonBourne, to conduct a survey about dot-brand TLDs.  They interviewed 200 executives responsible for consumer-facing brands in the US and the UK, and what did we learn?  Well, more than half of all executives, 52 percent, said that their IT department are driving the decision to apply for new dot-brand TLD.  We also learned that six in ten executives believe that they have the necessary in-house technical experience and infrastructure to run their TLD and further believe that they don’t need support from consultants or other outsource providers.   Let me be frank, a dot-brand strategy that relies only on in-house resources is a strategy that’s probably going to fail.   

I’m not saying that because Afilias is a registry services provider, I’m saying it because the reality is that operating at top level domain registry is a complex business.  It’s not like buying a dot-com to use on your website.  When you apply for top-level domain, you’re buying the dot-com itself.  Top-level domain registries are classified as a critical internet infrastructure.  That means you will be responsible for helping to keep the internet … Yes! The entire internet secure, stable and interoperable and you’ll now be answerable to ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which is the global entity that helps ensure the security and stability of the internet.  Operating a top-level domain is closer to operating a utility, like electricity or gas company than it is to running a company network or website.  That’s why all aspects a dot-brand domain are better handled by external specialists.  They can help you apply to ICANN for your dot-brand and they can also operate it successfully for you day-in and day-out every day the year.   

Is your company ready to address the very specific technical issues of the ICANN application process, such as the five critical registry functions?  The Share Registry System, DNS, DNSSEC, WHOIS and Data Escrow.  Twenty-two of the fifty questions in the ICANN application require you to provide detailed information about these five and many other aspects of the technical solution you plan to deploy in support of your TLD.  If your answers are inadequate, your TLD application will be denied and your application fee forfeited.  Obviously, it’s simpler and less risky to use answers based on a currently operating system which likely means an outsourced solution. 

So the key question for you to answer in the next few days is should you build your new TLD infrastructure in-house or outsource it to a registry services provider?  Let me expand my previous utilities comparison a bit.  Your company needs a telephone system but your IT department didn’t go out and develop a telephone system from scratch.  You used a faster, better, cheaper phone system that you outsourced.  TLD registry technology is similar.  Only a handful companies in the world have the proven systems and experienced staff to run TLD registry and since these systems are operating today, the services are available quickly, reliably and cheaply. Your busy IT department shouldn’t waste their time building a new TLD registry.  They have real work to do supporting various aspects of your competitive advantage.  It’s simply not a practical business decision. Now another reason to consider outsourcing to an experienced provider like Afilias is that we also know how to apply and win a new TLD.  At Afilias, we have helped many customers in the past to get their TLDs and for this new process, we’ve already figured out the answers that ICANN wants to see in a new TLD application.  Afilias is ready to help you do the heavy lifting needed to win your top-level domain.  Bu the bottom line is you need to make a decision fast as in the next couple days fast.  Your company has to begin the application process several days before March 29th, 2012 and must complete it on or before April 12th.  If you’re counting on internal resources like your IT department to provide the detailed answers you need by April 12th to prove to ICANN that you can run a registry system, you should really think again.  Think about who can help.   Think about Afilias.  Thanks.

With this opportunity for companies and/or individuals to become an ICANN-accredited registrar, many do not understand the high-level of difficulties that is in involved when applying to become a top-level domain registry.  The application process is not an easy one.  It includes several steps, requires submission of very detailed information and requires a payment of a non-refundable application fee, which you don’t want to lose due to the submission of an incomplete or invalid application.  Therefore, this process should be handled by highly experienced lawyers that know the ins and outs of the ICANN Registrar Accreditation Application Process.  The team of attorneys at Traverse Legal understand the ICANN Application process, as well as the contracts that need to be drafted between registrars and registries, between registries and registry-service providers, and among many other transactional relationships that must to be formed in order to get through this process.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.