According to Cnews, plans by ICANN to delete some of the more ‘outdated’ domain extensions in their index have been derailed. They had opened a public discussion in San Paulo with a view to removing these extensions, which ended last month. Top of their list of their list for deletion was the Russian .su (Soviet Union) extension and the former Yogoslav Republic’s .yu.
However the public proceedings have been dogged by protests and threats of legal action from domain owners, less than happy at the prospect of loosing their domain, marketing and branding expenses. ICANN finally agreed to leave the extensions alone.
This is not the first time ICANN have deleted an extension, Great Britain’s .gb, was replaced by .uk, East Germany’s .dd and Zaire’s .zr after the country became the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However supporters of the .yu and .su domains have pointed out that these extensions are far from obsolete, they have a healthy number of subscribers. There are currently 7’000 .su domains in circulation, with an additional 250 being sold each month.
The .su domain has remained popular in Russia, despite it’s higher cost, because so many valuable one-word phrases and brands remain available. This news will certainly breath new life into these extensions and their continued growth will make it even harder, if not impossible for ICANN to close them in the future.