The status quo:
There are over 125 million .com domains registered as per today. We project about 1 to 10 million .usa domains within the first 5 years - mostly registered by business entities and actually in use instead of being parked for monetization or registered for speculation.
Hence .usa will provide a much larger choice - it won't be a cluttered name space.
.com is an inexpensive all-round solution utilized by private individuals, organizations, small and large companies, in the U.S. but also in varying degrees in every single other nation like Canada, France, Russia or Thailand.
Almost every business entity in the United States -regardless whether a one man show or a nationwide operating big player- runs their website based on a .com domain name. Those who chose early -10, 15 or even 20 years ago- were lucky and usually got a good name. But time moves on and new businesses are founded each day: They all need web addresses. It is very hard to find any available domain name that makes remotely sense and isn't very long. Most businesses end up buying a domain name -often from a speculator- for thousands or even tens of thousands of US Dollars. No other nation in the world has so many business entities -or domains- like the United States - yet it shares it's name space with all other nations. A situation already today negatively impacting new businesses and established ones in need of a new or additional web address - and the problem worsens over time. A solution has to be established.
Originally .com was designed to have been what .usa will be:
1984 was distanced almost a decade from the inception of the commercial use of the Internet which started around 1993 but became only relevant years later. Yet the domain name system has been introduced in late 1984 - at a time when todays large scale commercial use was neither foreseeable nor permitted. Against the popular believe ".com" didn't stood for "commerce" but initially should have been ".cor" -for corporation- and was switched to .com last minute. It meant to be "commercial entities" or "company" (I talked to several of the people involved - it's been 32 years now - memory is fading).
So the solution is simple: Create a short, memorable gTLD with semantic value that is designed primarely to serve America's businesses.
How .usa is going to be a game changer:
Generally the .usa name space should enable those offering website content (e.g. companies and businesses) and the Internet User to find together in an intuitive way. The Internet user has no benefit from "parked pages", or from 25 generic .usa domainnames all being pointed to ONE website.
The registrants should have easy access to productive, beneficially, short domain names - but register only if the domain provides a real value for them and the Internet user. This is especially true for the scarce space of generic terms. Registrants should be better protected from unwanted domain loss (expiration) and they should be better empowered to identify and being able to register expired domains.
- Domain "claiming" before, during and after launch
- Potential registrants can "claim" domains years before the launch - or anytime during or after the launch. Even already registered domains!
- Once the domain becomes available (e.g. after expiration or during the launch) the claimants will be informed
- Undecided potential registrants claim their domains(s) prior, during or after the launch: If another registrant tries to register the domain the claimant(s) will be informed and have reasonable time to express the wish to register as well: A landrush type auction will take place between the registrant and the claimants.
- Potential registrants claim their .usa domain either directly with the .usa registry or an affiliated registrar
- Responsible Pricing
- $US 100 for company-name matching, non-generic (dictionary, 2 and 3 letter, place names) domains
- $US 250 (a Dollar per business day) for generic domains (dictionary, 2 and 3 letter, place names)
- During launch dotUSA members (associations) can provide their members with a 1 or 2 year free registration of company-name matching, non-generic (dictionary, 2 and 3 letter, place names) domains
- Expired Domain Management
- Registrants will be warned several times
- The RGP (redemption grace period in which the domain can be renewed) will be considerable longer as in established gTLDs (e.g. 60 days instead of 30)
- Expired domains HAVE to be deleted by the registrar and thus will be subject to re-allocation by the registry operator
- Expired domains have a 3 to 6 month cool down period during which they will display an invitation to claim the domain
- Upon availability all claimants will be notified and may enter into an auction
- If there aren't two participants in an auction the domain will be available for registration through registrars
- This way expired domains will NOT be snacked up by domain speculators but instead available for real end users
- Proceedings from auctions are available for dotUSA, Inc. instead of enriching snapping companies
- Domain Speculation / Traffic Monetization / Domain Hoarding
- Generally it is not permitted to register domains with the intend to resale
- .usa Domains should not be listed for sale on secondary market platforms
- The traffic should not be monetized by parked pages (or similar)
- Registrants should not register numerous domains (e.g. to forward them all to their one website, or for "future projects")