ICANN allows the registration of two-letter domain names matching country codes

A resolution adopted by the ICANN Board at the ICANN 57 meeting allows registries of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) to offer for registration two-letter ASCII domain names that match country codes (e.g. uk.info). Up to now, registries were required to reserve two-letter domain names within their TLDs and only release them for registration with the agreement of the ‘related government and country-code manager of the string’. While some governments represented on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) have been worried that the release to two-letter domain names could lead to confusion with the country codes, the GAC has not been able to reach a consensual position on this issue.  The Board resolution notes that the impact of the measure is expected ‘to be positive as new opportunities for diversification, competition and targeted content creation in the gTLD namespace are created, while minimal risk of user confusion has been identified’.