Yet Dengate Thrush's comment that "At a technical level there is the challenge of introducing international scripts at the top level for both gTLDs and ccTLDs, as well as new processes for introducing what may be a large number of generic top level domains" should sound a warning bell.
Whether any significant change in the number of top level domains would be beneficial is highly debatable. The main beneficiaries will be registrars who will see a resulting increase in registrations (especially defensive registrations where organisations and individuals feel required to take out their existing names under new TLDs to prevent other people from using them). ICANN will see additional revenue too.
But users? Well, there are some situation where a new TLD can be useful, such as the adoption of the .mobi domain for sites optimised for mobile devices with small screens. A key feature of domain names is their hierarchical structure, so site operators have always been free to offer (eg) mobi.itwire.com alongside www.itwire.com to cater for such devices.
While there may also be some advantage in having domains that are restricted to specific communities (eg, travel agents or lawyers) so that the public can be assured that sites in those domains are operated by appropriately licensed/registered/qualified organisations, generally speaking that would be done better within existing country codes, not at the top level. If you need a lawyer, you generally need a US lawyer, an Australian lawyer, or whatever.
Any introduction of a large number of gTLDs would, in this writer's opinion, be little more than a cash grab with no great benefit for the international Internet community. If the processes are changed in such a way that it becomes easier to ram through any proposals without the consent of the broader community, whose interests are being served?
Dengate Thrush's appointment means Australasia is punching well above its weight at ICANN. He joins Australian Paul Twomey, who currently serves as the organisation's president and CEO. Twomey described the New Zealander's appointment as "great news".
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.