Reliability, Stability, Trustworthiness: Three Key TLD Features Of A TLD

Reliability, stability, trustworthiness are three of the most important features of a TLD, and one of the main messages that auDA, the policy and regulatory body for .AU, has been striving to convey writes Chris Disspain, auDA CEO and these days also ICANN board member.

“In fact, I’m pretty sure we have been banging on about the importance of trust ever since auDA was established and assumed responsibility for the operation of .AU,” writes Disspain.

“The relevance of this message has been highlighted by recent developments that have negatively affected thousands of British companies” where there have been “legal and administrative battles surrounding the operation of ‘gb.com’, which offers third-level registrations as an alternative to .co.uk.”

With the downtime that ensued from the .gb.com outage, Disspain writes “what the recent events surrounding gb.com do highlight is the types of added risks registrants expose themselves to by choosing to register in a space that is selling third level domains on a commercial basis as opposed to in a well-regulated domain with well-defined policy frameworks.”

Another third level domain to launch as an alternative to the country code in recent days is com.de, promoted as an alternative to .DE. .DE and .UK are the two largest ccTLDs.

A problem that can arise is if the business selling the third level domains goes out of business – you lose your domain name. “All of the marketing and promotional efforts you have made go down the drain and your business may follow soon after.”

“In contrast, registrants in a regulated space such as .com.au are afforded certain protections in the unlikely event of registrar failure and can recover their name and livelihood with the assistance of auDA and whichever registrar they choose to switch to.

“Also, .AU has mechanisms built-in to deal with circumstances where you might find your business, trademark or other intellectual property rights infringed upon by a com.au registrant.”

Disspain then writes that “another advantage of operating your business in a well-run domain is that doing so can resolve issues of confusion and trust for your most important stakeholders – your customers.”

In conclusion Disspain writes, “all of these arguments tie back to one main issue – and the main motivation for this post – the importance of trust. Trust in the domain space you register in, trust in the security and stability of your commercial investment, and the trust your customers will have in your operations and the protection of their rights. All of these are vital drivers of success in the bricks-and-mortar world of business – and just as important online.”

To read this full article by Chris Disspain, auDA CEO and as of June 2011 ICANN board member, go to:
blog.auda.org.au/2011/08/09/without-trust-there-is-nothing/