The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority has chaired a national working group that has considered the need for new top level domains with national significance like .oslo. The working group, where Norid has participated, handed over their final report to the Minister of Transport and Communications on 11 March.
The report proposes a strategy for how to handle these top level domains in Norway, provided that the authorities decide that such domains should be created. In addition to Norid, the working group included representatives from the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, the Norwegian Consumer Council and Abelia.
The working group does not see any pressing need for the new top level domains. Awaiting an actual implementation, the Norwegian authorities should nonetheless form a strategy and set up guidelines for how to process applications for new top level domains.
Two different regimes
Today there are two different types of top level domains, and they are subject to separate governing regimes: National top level domains like .no and .se, that are governed locally within each country, and generic top level domains like .com and .org, that are governed by ICANN's international policies and regulations.
The working group is of the opinion that any new Norwegian top level domains must be regulated by both Norwegian law and ICANN's policies. Getting a system of agreements in place ensuring that those who will be running these domains apply with Norwegian rules and manage this resource in a way that serves the Norwegian society in the best possible way, will be important.
Today's Norwegian top level domain, .no, administered by Norid, is characterized by a strong affiliation with Norway and a policy that has been developed in tune with the local community's needs. The policy has contributed to a high data quality, and the Norwegian domain market is orderly, with very little domain piracy.
The Domain Name Regulations must apply for everyone
The Domain Name Regulations sets the framework for how .no is administered. The working group believes that the regulations should apply as equally as possible to new top level domains. They also recommend that qualifications like innovation and business concepts must be in place before any new Norwegian top level domain can be approved.
The working group's report (PDF)(English translation)
The working group's report (PDF) (Original Norwegian version)
Press release from the Ministry of Transport and Communications (Norwegian only)
The Ministry's blog about the report (Norwegian only)