ConnectingNYC.org asked the .NYC registry, Neustar, what will happen to the first year registrations of .nyc domain names that are beginning to expire.
.NYC domain names will drop as usual and no domains are going to be reserved by the city or the registry. Of course registrars are free to auction these domains to the highest bidder.
ConnectingNYC.org received the following response:
The process for expiring and deleted names for .nyc domain names is consistent with the process for other gTLDs.
Essentially, domain names that are not renewed go through 2 distinct phases.
Phase 1: The Suspension/Expiration Phase takes place for 1-45 days after the suspension or expiration date. During this phase, .nyc domain names are still renewable by Registrants and Registrars will attempt to encourage their customers to renew their domain names. If Registrants choose not to renew the domain name, then Registrars will delete the name to avoid being automatically charged the renewal fee from the .nyc Registry.
Phase 2: Once the name is deleted by the Registrar it enters into the “Redemption Grace Period” for 35 days. During this phase the domain name is still restorable by Registrants for an additional fee for 30 days. During the last 5 days of the RGP the domain name is non-restorable and the domain name will drop.
Some registrars do have policies in place that allow them to seek out another Registrant during the RGP, through vehicles like auctions. If they are successful in finding another Registrant, it means that instead of dropping the domain name they will have a “new create” and renew the domain name on behalf of the new Registrant. In this case, the new Registrant would be subject to address validation by Neustar.
Within both of these phases, the domain name is placed on a “PendingDelete-Restorable” status with the .nyc Registry and the domain name can still be renewed for a fee. Each Registrar sets its own policies and associated fees for renewing and restoring domain names during these phases.
As always, the .nyc Registry will uphold all nexus policies. There are also mechanisms in place for people to make nexus complaints in the event necessary.
As for communicating with New Yorkers, all Registrars communicate regularly with Registrants to ensure reminders are sent about renewals. To the extent a domain name drops, all interested New Yorkers have access to the WHOIS and can check the status of any domain name in PendingDelete-Restorable status. At the end of phase 2, assuming a domain name is not restored or renewed — the name will drop and be added to the pool of generally available .nyc domains.