.US considers release of 1 and 2 character domains & whois privacy for $0.50

The usTLD Stakeholder Council and Neustar, Inc., the registry operator for the usTLD, is seeking public comment on the Council’s recommendation to Neustar to release one and two character domain names in connection with the us TLD Premium Domain Name (PDN) plan and to allow for the implementation of a registry-based wholesale whois privacy registration service in the .US Top Level Domain.

Neustar has selected the “high/low” pricing model for .US Premium Domain Names. This means that new registrations carry a premium price in a set pricing tier but renewals, transfers and multi-year terms will remain at the then current standard price (currently US$6.50). Neustar also plans to put dropped domains that qualify into the premium domain name plan.
Subject to approval of the plan and scoping of the service Neustar plans to price its privacy service at a wholesale fee, such as $0.50 per domain name per year.

The .US registry once considered lifting the Nexus requirements on .us domains but that proposal never made it to a public comment.

All comments should be submitted by email to stakeholdercouncil@neustar.us with the comment period clearly reflected in the message header.

Pursuant to the usTLD Stakeholder Council Operating Procedures, all Council recommendations will be published for a 30-day public comment period.

One and two .us character domain names

As part of an overall effort by Neustar, to raise awareness and use of the .US domain, the PDN Plan would make available to the public at a premium price certain high-value, highly-visible, premium .US domain names (“.US Premium Domains”), some of which are currently designated as “reserved” (including one- and two-character .US domain names), and others that would be newly designated as such. Given the level of investment, buyers of high value premium domain names typically put these names to good use – building web properties that are heavily marketed and promoted. This is beneficial to the entire namespace, getting the most coveted names circulated.

While intended to protect existing intellectual property rights and preserve the legacy locality namespace, the release and implementation of a premium name space will foster new growth for the .US domain extension using current best practices and allocation standards. Throughout the plan, all policies and restrictions regarding two-character state and territorial abbreviations or numbered domain names are recommended to still be in effect.

THE .US PREMIUM DOMAIN NAME PLAN (PDF)

The Council is seeking public comments on the following questions:

  • Should the usTLD policy be revised to allow the release of 1 and 2 character domains?
  • Should the usTLD registry operator include currently unregistered and registered name as premium names? (The premium plan will not affect existing registrants’ domain names, nor will it affect transfers of existing names.)
  • What, if any, impact would the introduction of 2 character names at the second level have on the legacy city.state.us registrations in .US? Please explain any concerns you have in detail.

Please provide comments on or before January 16, 2017.

.US whois privacy

Neustar operates registry services for the usTLD pursuant to a contract with the Department of Commerce. Currently, that contract does not allow for the provision of privacy services. When a registrant buys a domain name, registry policy in line with industry standards require registrars to obtain and provide to the registry, the registrant’s contact information, including name, physical address, email address, and phone number. This information is publically available in the WHOIS database, a searchable directory that holds all the contact information for domain name registrants. The WHOIS database is freely searchable by anyone with access to the internet. In these times of increased awareness of the dangers of identity theft and other threats, many registries and registrars offer privacy services to their registrants. A privacy service lists alternative, reliable registrant contact information in WHOIS, while keeping the domain name registered to its beneficial user, the registrant.

The Council is requesting your comments on a plan that will be submitted to the Department of Commerce that will request authority under the contract to allow privacy services to be implemented for .US.

THE .US PRIVACY SERVICE PLAN (PDF)

The Council is seeking public comments on the following questions:

  • Do you support the implementation of privacy services for .US domain name holders?
  • What issues, if any, will registrars have with implementing privacy services as set forth in the plan?
  • Does the plan adequately address the concerns of law enforcement while preserving the expected level of privacy of registrants who request the service?

Please provide comments on or before January 16, 2017.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

4 comments

  1. Something totally unrelated that you may want to investigate Konstantinos, has anyone ever noticed the 50 junk .STUDY domain names registered each day by the same entity (probably linked to the registry) ?

    Deserves a special blog post in my opinion.
    Most new gtld registries are fakers.
    How to explain 30,000 random .LOAN domains registered daily ?
    Lots of others registries are hyping their numbers SO MUCH that it becomes laughable.
    588,000 .BID domain names registered, really ?
    710,000 .LOAN domains registered…. WTF
    1,165,000 .TOP domains registered….LOL
    317,000 .LINK domains registered….
    305,000 .RED domains registered….
    226,000 .SCIENCE domains registered….
    .SPACE
    .REN
    .SITE
    .ONLINE
    .WIN
    .WANG
    .TRADE
    .DATE

    and the list goes on and on.
    That would definitely make a great blog post.

  2. I think that whois privacy is important, however, I also think that there should be a policy to help assist law enforcement agencies investigating potential fraud. Rather than making it harder to identify criminals, it should be easier.

    As for the one and two character .us’s, i say bring them on. 😉

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