The business community needs more information before plans to expand Internet domain names moves forward, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has claimed.

A little more than a month before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) begins welcoming generic top level domain name (gTLD) applications, the NRF has urged a Senate committee to intervene.

“While this proposal has been thoroughly discussed within the technology community, its scope and consequences have largely flown under the radar of most commercial businesses and the general public,” NRF senior vice-president and general counsel Mallory Duncan said.

“ICANN made its proposal final only in June, and has given the business community little of the concrete information needed to understand its plans and even less time to consider the consequences.”

He added that an entity such as ICANN operating under government authority should not move forward on matters that potentially affect major segments of the US economy without providing “reasonable up-front guidance”.

“To date, that guidance is lacking,” Mr. Duncan said.

He suggested that ICANN has been unclear on information such as how many names will be available, with reports ranging from 300 to 3,000.

The Association of National Advertisers has been vociferous in its own opposition to the gTLD regime, which it claims will be counterproductive to business aims.

More information needed on gTLD plan, says NRF
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