Washington, D.C.—The Senate Commerce Committee heard testimony Thursday about the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' plan for new generic top level domains, which would enable the creation of, for instance, .cisco or .cocacola websites.
The ICANN program is slated to roll out in January. Registration for the gTLDs will cost $185,000.
The Association of National Advertisers used the Senate hearing to continue its attack on the plan. Testifying on behalf of the ANA and the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight, a group of 154 companies and trade associations opposing the ICANN program, Dan Jaffe, ANA exec VP-government relations, said, “The ICANN program would pile billions of dollars of cost on to a challenging global economy—resources that could be much better spent on job creation. This is not merely a bad policy choice but a serious threat to the legitimate interests of both companies and consumers on the Internet.”
Also during the Senate testimony, according to BtoB sibling publication Advertising Age, Kurt Pritz, ICANN senior VP-stakeholder relations, said ICANN would listen to the objections to the program. However, the Senate appears to have little power to halt the independent ICANN's program.
Despite ANA and CRIDO's protests, ICANN showed no signs of delaying its program. On the same day as the Senate hearing, ICANN President-CEO Rod Beckstrom was in Beijing promoting the program, which for the first time will enable traditional and simplified Chinese characters to be used in generic top level domain names.
“Time is short,” Beckstrom said in a speech in Beijing. “If you have not done so, now is the time to get expert advice and get your marketing people engaged to take advantage of new opportunities. If you need help there are many companies around the world that offer this service.”