Bid for new .bank domain undone by vote

The proposed .bank second level domain has narrowly failed to pass a public vote, the Internet Society (Isocnz) announced last night.

The proposed .bank second level domain has narrowly failed to pass a public vote, the Internet Society (Isocnz) announced last night.

The online vote was the third phase of the nine-step process for establishing a new domain triggered when the New Zealand Bankers' Association formally applied to have .bank established for its members' use.

But support for the proposal failed to achieve the 70% support required under Isocnz rules. The margin of support was 256 in favour and 135 against, a support level of 65.47%. Only 200 votes in total were required for a valid poll.

Isocnz executive director Sue leader says the society "appreciates the amount of work that the NZ Bankers' Association put into this proposal, and understands that they will be disappointed with the outcome." managing director Peter Mott describes the failure of the bid as "outrageous".

"Here we have a community of banks, who are known to not be first off the block at anything, actually holding up their hands and saying 'we want to be a part of this thing', and they do it right and because of the way the Internet Society is structured and the limited number of people who participate, they're told no," says Mott.

"I don't have a fundamental problem with the policy they follow, but the problem is that those policies only work when you've got significant numbers of people participating in the process, and when the community actually represents people involved in the business."

Leader says the process for creating a new second-level domain in the .nz namespace "is a lengthy one, and is designed that way to ensure a viable level of support for any new name. The difficulty we face is that you cannot easily remove a domain name once it's been created as people registered in existing domains have usually invested a great deal of time and money in websites, email addresses, letterheads, advertising and the like. We need to get it right the first time".

She says the Isocnz council plans to review the process and notes that "lessons learnt" from using to conduct the poll will be applied to a new in-house voting system under development.

Mott says the policy, which will prevent the Bankers' Association from applying again for a year, must be overturned.

"That policy is created by the council - it's not binding on the organisation, it's not in their rules," says Mott. "The council can change it at will and I think they need to do so quickly in order to send a message to business that they're there to support them."

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