ICANN-Meeting - Paris opens race for City-Top-Level-Domains

Paris, June 26, 2008 - The French capital Paris yesterday formally announced its participation in the upcoming application for a Top-Level-Domain .PARIS at the Internet organisation ICANN. Paris is the first city to officially voice its interest in an own Top-Level-Domain (TLD). The task ahead of dotPARIS now is to build up and grow its initiative. In the German capital Berlin, dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG has been actively forming an initiative for the TLD .BERLIN since 2005 and has some 80 partners and sponsors by now.

Jean-Louis Missika, deputy mayor of Paris, seized the occasion of a gala reception for the delegates of the 32nd Meeting of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in the town hall of Paris for his announcement: "It is my pleasure to announce today that Paris will be a candidate for .PARIS together with a group of companies from the city".

"As the initiator of the idea for City-TLDs we are happy to see that our concepts for the development of local identity on the Internet are being judged so positively in Paris", commented Dirk Krischenowski, founder and CEO of dotBERLIN, on the French Coup in Paris. "It's getting more and more apparent that communities will play a significant role for the new Top-Level-Domains". Peter Dengate Thrush, the chairman of the ICANN Board, and ICANN CEO Paul Twomey both wished dotPARIS success with its application.

Picture from left to right: Sébastien Bacholet (dotPARIS), Dirk Krischenowski (dotBERLIN), Jean-Luis Missika (City of Paris), Bertrand de la Chapelle (French Foreign Office), Werner Staub (CORE)

Only in January 2008, the German Bundestag was the first parliament worldwide that approved a resolution in favor of the enlargement of the Internet namespace with geographical names. The resolution "Advancement of address space in the Internet" (printed matter 16/4564) had international effects and has been picked up by initiatives from the Bretagne to New York City and to Québec.

At the Paris ICANN Meeting from June 23 to June 27, more than 1 500 delegates from over 120 countries discuss current issues of Internet governance. On June 26, the ICANN board will decide on the next steps for the introduction of new generic TLDs. Thus, the completion of the policy development process that was started by ICANN in December 2005 is coming closer.

ICANN expects a significant number of applicants for the upcoming round which will not begin before the second quarter of 2009. Many experts view TLDs with a geographical reference as a particularily useful expansion as they offer identity and name space for real communities like cities and language and cultural communities.

The application process for a TLD is not trivial. Solid financing, well balanced registration policies and a concept for the technical operation of the TLD are some of the basic requirements for filing an application. ICANN has not published any figures for the costs of an application yet. But the organisation has said that it intends to refinance the costs which are as much as 10 million US Dollars already with the fees that applicants have to provide.