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One and Two Character .biz Domains Delayed

Back in February, Neustar proposed the sale of one and two character .biz domain names. The new domains were supposed to be up for vote at ICANNs April 23, 2009 meeting, but the vote was shelved when the meaning ran out of time. Neustar, the .biz Registry, has expressed its disappointment in the delayed vote. In reacting to their disappointment, the Registry stated the following in a letter to ICANN:

“If there is any concern among ICANN Board members about a financial windfall to NeuStar or whether approval of the .BIZ proposal somehow sets a precedent for similar auctions in market-dominant TLDs, we urge you to consider the realities of the marketplace. Under the Registry/Registrar construct designed by ICANN, registries like .BIZ are reliant on marketing by registrars. Given that .BIZ has such a small percentage of the market, registrars are generally reluctant to spend marketing dollars on the promotion of .BIZ relative to .COM. Smaller registries like .BIZ require greater flexibility relative to those with market dominance, particularly when registrars demand greater compensation to promote our brand to registrants. Therefore, any proceeds derived from the .BIZ auction would be used to make up for this shortfall by registrars and to engage in branding efforts at the registry level.”

Neustar has stated that they would like to begin accepting proposals from those interested in registering one and two character .biz domains to ensure that the names will be used in a way that promotes the .biz brand. Additionally, the Registry says that any revenue derived from the sale of these names will be funneled back into the promotion of the .biz TLD.