TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: ICANN Plans to Revoke Outdated Suffixes

ICANN Plans to Revoke Outdated Suffixes

Anick Jesdanun, AP (
Wed, 06 Dec 2006 21:09:04 -0600

By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer

Over the past few years, the Internet has seen new domain names such
as ".eu" for Europe and ".travel" for the travel industry. Now, the
key oversight agency is looking to get rid of some.

Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers began accepting public comments this week on how
best to revoke outdated suffixes, primarily assigned to countries that
no longer exist.

The Soviet Union's ".su" is the leading candidate for deletion,
although the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro are
transitioning from ".yu" to their own country codes. A Google search
generated millions of ".su" and ".yu" sites.

East Timor now uses ".tl," though about 150,000 sites remain under its
older code, ".tp."

Also obsolete is Great Britain's ".gb," which produced no sites on
Google. Britons typically use ".uk" for the United Kingdom.

ICANN assigns country codes based on standards set by the
International Organization for Standardization, which in turn takes
information from the United Nations.

Conflicts can potentially occur when codes are reassigned.

Czechoslovakia didn't need ".cs" after it split into the Czech
Republic (".cz") and Slovakia (".sk"). Serbia and Montenegro got ".cs"
following the breakup of Yugoslavia, before further splitting into
Serbia (".rs") and Montenegro (".me"). (In this case, a crisis was
averted because Czechoslovakia let go of ".cs" long before it was
reassigned, and Serbia and Montenegro never used it before splitting

A few other domains have already disappeared, including East Germany's
".dd" and Zaire's ".zr" after the country became the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (".cd").

ICANN wants to establish a formal policy and is accepting comments
online until Jan. 31. Further deletions will likely take a year or
longer to give users time to change.

Reductions in the number of domains -- now 265 -- are likely to be
temporary. ICANN is crafting rules on how to roll out additional
domains, including ones in non-English characters.

ICANN also is launching a review of eligibility rules for ".int," a
domain reserved for international organizations.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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