barcoded-NYC.0.JPGJackson Hts., New York, November 16, 2012 - On April 19, 2001 Queens Community Board 3, a local planning agency of the City of New York, passed an Internet Empowerment Resolution calling for the acquisition and development of the .nyc TLD as a public interest resource (it’s like .com, .org, .edu and .gov but just for New York City).

Last night, 11 years later, on the eve of that resolution’s fruition, and with 38 other global cities following the city’s lead - .paris, .london, .tokyo, .barcelona, etc., the board passed another resolution supportive of the original saying in essence: “Hey, we started this thing. Don’t forget us.”

The new resolution calls for City Hall to activate and fund a promised .nyc Community Advisory Board and assure that good domain names - those that are short, descriptive and memorable - are provided to the “city’s neighborhoods, community organizations, not-for-profit institutions, and local small businesses.” It also called for the city to coordinate the development of TLD with the 38 other global cities, and it requested that a process be developed for recycling domain names that would assure their availability for future generations. The resolution:

A Resolution in Support of the .nyc Top Level Domain

- by Queens Community Board 3, the City of New York, November 15, 2012 -

Whereas, on April 19, 2001 Queens Community Board 3 passed an Internet Empowerment Resolution calling for the acquisition and development of the .nyc Top Level Domain (TLD) as a public interest resource, and

Whereas, the City of New York submitted an application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the .nyc TLD on June 12, 2012, and

Whereas, the City of New York plans to create a Community Advisory Board to “encourage meaningful input into the development of the .nyc strategy” and

Whereas, 38 other cities have followed New York City’s initiative and applied for their TLDs,

Queens Community Board 3 hereby endorses the following resolution:

We congratulate Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council for filing an application for the .nyc TLD.

To contribute to its success, Community Board 3 recommends:

  • that the .nyc TLD’s Community Advisory Board take a careful view of this most important resource, and that it be provided with adequate resources to assure its effective operation.
  • that Community Boards, civic organizations, not-for-profit entities, and local small businesses be represented on the Community Advisory Board.
  • that domain names that support civic life should be thoughtfully reserved for use by the city’s neighborhoods, community organizations, not-for-profit institutions, and local small businesses.
  • that civic not-for-profit organizations, and small businesses be provided with adequate notification of domain name selection periods, and the opportunity to select a good domain name.
  • that the city carefully coordinate the development of its Top Level Domain with the other cities that have applied for their TLDs, seeking opportunities for standardization and the sharing of good TLD governance practices.
  • that a plan be formulated to assure that the .nyc TLD is a sustainable resource: that domain names are recycled so they are available to New Yorkers today and tomorrow.


Jackson Hts., New York, February 20, 2012 - With the April 12 deadline for submission of TLD applications to ICANN approaching, we were curious about the status of applications for culture-based TLDs, and approached representatives from organizations advocating for TLDs for Wales and Scotland.

First up was a conversation earlier this month between the principle advocate for Wales’ .cymru TLD, Maredudd ap Gwyndaf, and two Inc. board members, Thomas Lowenhaupt and Robert Pollard.

Mr. Lowenhaupt first met Maredudd at the June 2007 ICANN meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Maredudd had traveled to San Juan to express to ICANN board members the intent of the Welsh people to acquire and develop the .cymru TLD as a cultural resource, as Mr. Lowenhaupt had for the .nyc TLD. Both worked for 5 years seeking a level playing field in the ICANN’s application process for their geographic and cultural TLDs. 

An email from Maredudd responding to our invitation had prepped the conversation, “How are things coming along with NYC? I think that the last time we spoke was back in the Paris ICANN meeting in 2008. There were rumors of at least three potential applicants for .nyc at the time so it’s nice to see that you’re still involved.” Then on a sad note Maredudd stated:

“It’s got to the point now where I’m organising an AGM to close the company down. It’s impossible for us to compete against Nominet when the civil servants support them and the friends of the Welsh Government have been placed in Nominet’s advisory committee in Wales. Also, since the Welsh Government wants Nominet to be the registry for the TLD they won’t give us any money - although we do have the $185.000 in a loan. The UK Government has the last word on this since they will be giving the letter of no objection and they know Nominet well and won’t consider Welsh communities, language or culture when deciding whether to support Nominet or not.”

With that email as backdrop for the hour long conversation, the talk had few high notes. An exception was the Wales-Hangout-b.jpgapparent success of Scotland in maintaining control of their TLD for the enhancement of the Scottish culture. More on that soon. 

In response to Maredudd’s inquiry as to the status of our effort, Thomas explained how, when the city announced its intention to apply for the TLD in 2009, and thereby met the organization’s initial goal, his organization had stepped aside as applicant and offered to assist with the educational tasks. But he noted with regret that the city had not undertaken any such tasks, and had not engaged his organization or the public in the development process. As a result, in December 2011, with the application deadline fast approaching, and no research or education having taken place, their organization recommended that: 

Having worked and waited over 10 years for this opportunity to arise, we find ourselves compelled and saddened to make the following recommendation: Let’s begin now to undertake a comprehensive review of all that a TLD can do for our city. Let’s observe cities receiving TLDs in this first round and learn from the experience. And let’s prepare for ICANN’s next filing opportunity for city-TLDs, expected in perhaps three years - barely enough time to prepare a thoughtful and comprehensive plan.

Thomas and Robert wished Maredudd well and offered their sincerest regret that the Welsh people seen likely to loose the opportunity to foster their culture’s growth with a locally controlled TLD.

(Commons Photo courtesy of CnI Library. Top, Maredudd ap Gwyndaf, Robert Pollard, Thomas Lowenhaupt, bottom. Welsh dragon courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.) 

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed February 21st, 2012 under .london, Barcelona, City-TLDs, .paris, .berlin

Hangout-Mike-Palage-and-5-others.JPGThe Net, September 9, 2011 -  We convened our usual 10-11 AM Thursday meeting using Google+’s new Hangout feature yesterday. The question of the day was: “Whose TLD Is It: the City of New York, the State of New York, or the “Internet Community”? The answer is quite complicated if you consider that there are several options for New York’s TLD: .newyork, .newyorkcity, or the presumed .nyc, with the city, state, and “Internet Community” having more or less rights or power to claim each.

The meeting was convened and moderated by Inc.’s Thomas Lowenhaupt. Others attending were Seth Johnson, a New York based information quality specialist and policy advocate, Joly MacFie, V.P. Internet Society-NY, the day’s expert guest, Michael Palage, attorney and former member of the ICANN’s board of directors, and Robert Pollard, founder of Information Habitat: Where Information Lives, a United Nations NGO. 

The complexity of the situation was hinted at by the number of entities with a role in defining New York’s TLD usage and suitability: the City of New York, the State of New York, ICANN, IANA, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NTIA.

At meeting’s end Mike Palage noted that at the conclusion of the June 2010 ICANN meeting that approved the new TLD process, the rising comment was that its passage represented “the end of the beginning.” Indeed.

Joly MacFie captured and published a video of the event, and there’s a wiki page presenting the salient points. (Commons photo courtesy of Patti Shubitz.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Filed September 9th, 2011 under City Council, Neighborhoods, City-TLDs, NTIA, .berlin, .paris, ICANN


Vilnius, Lithuania, September 17, 2010 - At the 5th Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania, leaders from government, civil society, and business gathered to discuss the design, development, and operation of city-TLDs. Participants at the City-TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop made the following recommendations:

  • City-TLD proponents should prepare a preliminary definition of public interest TLDs, using resources such as the Paris Understanding.
  • An organization of proponents of public interest city-TLDs be formed.
  • Literature should be prepared to inform mayors of the world of the utility of city-TLDs, and that it be distributed through their best practices organizations.
  • Via petition and other mechanisms, the thoughtful and rapid approval of city-TLDs should be presented to the ICANN.
  • Such petition to the ICANN should note that the operation of city government, the quality of city life, and the sustainability of cities will be improved by the thoughtful issuance and development of city-TLDs.
  • Such petition should also note the unsuitability of the proposed filing fees, technology requirements, and registry/registrar separation for city-TLDs proposed in the Draft Application Guidebook, especially for less developed areas.
  • The petition should note that the acceptance of city-TLDs as a distinct category of TLDs, governed under the existing laws of nation-states; unencumbered by traditional concerns about trademark stress; and governed by responsible entities will free the ICANN to focus on more problematic TLD categories.
  • That nation-states be contacted through the members of the ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and other channels and requested to assemble a list of cities with an existing interest in TLDs.
  • That a list of cities proposing public interest TLDs be submitted to ICANN.
  • That a dedicated unit within ICANN be created to process public interest city-TLD applications.
  • That cities on such a list be processed and approved in an expedited manner.
  • That trademark issues be closely considered. 
  • That the city-TLD advocacy organization create city-to-city processes and communication channels to share best practices.

See City-TLD Governance and Best Practices - Report for the full workshop details and the follow-up page for responses under consideration. (Photo courtesy of Patti Shubitz.)

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page


UPDATE: See the workshop report.

New York, August 17, 2010 - (Sept. 14 update) Inc. will participate on a City TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop being held at the 5th Internet Governance Forum (IGF)  in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 17.

As the ICANN moves closer to issuing city TLDs, a few cities have publicly shown an interest in their acquisition and development - Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, New York - with several others  in contemplation. But most remain unaware of the economic benefits and improved quality of life a thoughtfully developed city TLD can provide.

To date, the few cities with an announced interest have developed their plans in camera, without public or inter-city consultation. The City TLD workshop was organized to shine a global light on the opportunities provided by the digital infrastructure enabled by city TLDs. It is hoped that the dialog will facilitate information sharing policies and processes that will result in more efficient, governable, and livable cities.

The IGF was created by the United Nations’ Secretary-General to help carry out the World Summit on the Information Society mandate to convene a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance.  The workshop was proposed by and developed in consultation with the Internet Governance Caucus and the IGF.

The City TLD Governance and Best Practices workshop will be held in Room 7 of the LITEXPO Center on Friday, September 17, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM Vilnius time. New Yorkers can participate in the event via a remote connection beginning at 8:30 AM on the 17th. Details on the connection process for Vilnius events will be found here. Inc. will be represented on the workshop by its founding director, Thomas Lowenhaupt. If you have questions or comments for the workshop, email

UPDATE: See the workshop report.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Statue-of-Liberty-Paris.JPGNew York, December 13, 2009 - Inc. was a sponsor of the OpenNY Summit held at the offices of The Open Planning Project in New York City on December 11-12. One of OpenNY’s tracks focused on making city government’s raw digital information accessible to programmers. The benefits of making standards compliant data accessible became apparent after Washington D.C.’s experiment with mashups resulted in many helpful programs being developed for city residents and visitors.

Standards are a key element enabling the effective release of data and several Summit discussions touched on the issue. The standards discussion inspired Tom Lowenhaupt, Inc.’s founder, to present an impromptu talk on the opportunity standards offer for the efficient and effective development of city TLDs. There’s the 2 minute recording of the presentation on AOL Video.

Mr. Lowenhaupt became familiar with city TLD standards through his role as key drafter of the Paris Understanding, a document that would guide global cities in the direction of standards for the development and operation of city-TLDs. ­(Commons photo of Statue of Liberty being assembled in Paris from NYPL collection.)

Learn about .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed December 14th, 2009 under Standards, Barcelona, City-TLDs, .paris, .berlin


Mexico City, March 3, 2009 - Inc. participated at a gathering of the “dotCities movement” at the 34th Meeting of ICANN, March 2 - 6, in Mexico City.

On the opening day, several dotCity developers met to discuss their goals for the week of meetings. Those attending were Kim Jaeyoun, Seoul, South Korea, Marta Téllez i Domingo, project director of .bcn (Barcelona), Oliver Sume, .HAMBURG, Werner Staub, from CORE, Dirk Krischenowski, .berlin, Amadeau Abril i Abril, initiator, .cat, and Thomas Lowenhaupt, TLD.

Monday’s meeting focused on the role of cities within the ICANN, the entity that oversees the Internet’s domain name structure. Current thinking is that cities will express their voice at ICANN through the Registries Constituency of the GNSO. In February 2009 promoters of the .nyc, .berlin, .bcn, and .paris submitted a petition to the GNSO, a deliberative body of the ICANN, indicating their intention to form the City Top-Level Domain Constituency and participate in the ICANN governance process from within that entity.

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed March 3rd, 2009 under Oversight, City-TLDs, .paris, .berlin, ICANN, Governance

hotel-de-ville.jpg­June 25, 2008, Paris - When Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Rissika announced at the Hôtel de ville de Paris (Paris’ City Hall) that the City of Lights was taking steps to reorganize itself for the digital age using the .PARIS TLD (like .com, .org, and .us, but just for Paris), the audience erupted in applause.

Among the 1,000+ participants that jammed themselves into the former bastion of Kings to celebrate the 32nd meeting of the ICANN (the organization that responsible for issuing names like .paris and .nyc) was Tom Lowenhaupt, founding director of CnI. Mr. Lowenhaupt congratulated Sebastien Bachollet, president of Internet Society France and initiator of the .paris effort.

As the celebrants enjoyed the delicious food and magnificent facility, Lowenhaupt continued a discussion with Amadeu Abril i Abril, former ICANN board member and initiator of the .cat TLD (serving the needs of the Catalonian culture), about ways global cities could coordinate the development of their TLDs.

Filed June 26th, 2008 under Competition, .paris

new-york-times-logo-small.jpgJune 10, 2008 - The New York Times published an informative article about the campaign in yesterday’s paper. The article was partially based on writer Jenny 8. Lee’s attendance at Inc.’s May 13th public meeting. Be sure to read the 25+ comments posted about the article.

Filed June 10th, 2008 under Media Coverage, .paris, .berlin, ICANN, City Agency

igf-brazil-graphic.jpg November 14, 2007, New York - participated on a Broadening the Domain Name Space: Adding TLDs for Cities and Regions panel at the U.N. sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio De Janeiro. The panel first heard about the positive experiences of three recently issued TLDs: .cat (for the Catalonia cultural), .asia (for use in the continent of Asia), and .eu (for use in the European Union).

The focus then turned to prospective TLDs with .nyc leading off the presentations. Panelist Thomas Lowenhaupt reviewed the basis for city-TLDs and recent organizing activities in support of’s application, including a recent favorable meeting with the city’s IT department. He also reiterated his concern, first raised at the ICANN meeting in Los Angeles, that a plethora of applications by Fortune 1000 firms for new TLDs might inundate the ICANN’s small staff and reduce the likelihood of city-TLDs being issued on a timely basis.

Panelist Sebastian Bacholet, appearing on behalf of the .paris TLD, reviewed the internationalization study initiated by developers of the .nyc, .berlin, and .paris TLDs at the ICANN Los Angeles meeting. He provided three instances where second level domain names might be developed in various languages -,, and By way of example, he explained that when in need of health care, German or French speaking visitors to New York City might enter or www.hô in their respective languages and receive pages with the needed information.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page