The NSW and Victorian governments have selected ARI Registry Services to prepare their application for new top-level domains (TLDs): .melbourne, .sydney and .victoria.
The two state governments released a joint tender in October, seeking a registry operator to manage the application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs the granting of new TLDs.
The NSW government is still determining whether it will apply for a .nsw domain, which has raised as a possibility in the original tender. ARI Registry Services CEO, Adrian Kinderis, said that ICANN's rules governing the new generic TLDs (gTLDs) mean that the state government may not be guaranteed to be granted .nsw.
"We're working through some of those issues so it's certainly not ruled out," Kinderis said. "We'd love to have it in the mix obviously from a registry perspective, but that is yet to be ratified. So we're working through that issue at the moment to make sure the money is spent wisely if indeed they do go for the application and that they're giving themselves a good chance of securing it."
Kinderis said he was disappointed that other Australian cities and governments had not taken advantage of ICANN's opening up of new gTLDs. "I don't believe anyone else is coming forward. it's really disappointing because this is an amazing opportunity and for places the Gold Coast and Brisbane which really work hard on promoting themselves internationally as destinations, we would have thought this would have been a no-brainer."
Kinderis said that it's not too late for other governments to apply for gTLDs despite the 12 April deadline for filing applications with ICANN. "I don't think it's too late [but] the message needs to be 'mobilise now'."
ICANN is committed to opening up a second round of gTLD registrations, but Kinderis said he didn't anticipate this would be for another three years at least.