Already two weeks beyond the deadline, a decision on the future of the .jobs domain seems even further off now, as the board of the Internet’s addressing authority heads to South America for one of its international meetings.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) travels this week to Cartagena, Colombia for workshops and meetings Dec. 5-10. The parties in the .jobs expansion dispute were invited there, but with one group declining the offer, no meeting is currently planned.
When last we left this saga, ICANN’s Board Governance Committee had only a few days until its Nov. 20th deadline to decide whether the entire board should reconsider its decision opening up the use of the .jobs address to almost any name. Until Aug. 5th, only business names could be used.
Since then, ICANN staff proposed a meeting of the various parties. SHRM, one of the three groups involved in the issue, declined to participate. The .JOBS Compliance Coalition, which asked for reconsideration, indicated its willingness to attend and even extend the deadline so the meeting could be held. There’s no indication how or if Employ Media, the third group and driver of the proposal, responded. Employ Media is the registrar of .jobs addresses and wants to expand the allowable uses.
John Bell, chair of the coalition, said his group will be represented in Cartagena by its attorney, but couldn’t manage the travel on the short notice ICANN gave.
He said the invitation to the parties came a day or two before Thanksgiving. The offer was to make a presentation to the Board Governance Committee on Dec. 5th, to be followed by a question-and-answer period. He said he assumes a similar offer was extended to Employ Media and possibly also to SHRM. There was no response to my emails sent to both organizations.
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What’s next is unclear. ICANN’s spokeswoman Samantha Oltman said she had no information readily available on the current status of the reconsideration issue, but would check. Nothing yet.
If the committee recommends reconsideration, the ICANN board would likely vacate its previous decision, while it again takes up the matter. It would probably mean that the process Employ Media has already begun to award .jobs addresses in bulk would be halted.
NOTE: For more detail on the .jobs controversy, visit the ERE archive here.