The Battle for Dot-Radio: Part I
Alexis Hauk is associate editor of Radio World.
Who will manage “dot-radio?” This is a question currently gaining traction. If you haven't heard it yet, you soon will.
Last month, Radio World reported that four organizations — European Broadcasting Union, BRS Media Inc., Tin Dale LLC and Afilias Ltd. — have applied for the registry of that new generic top-level domain, as part of a planned dramatic expansion in the Internet’s domain name system.
Who are these four, and what are their plans for “dot-radio?” Radio World takes a closer look.
The first up is EBU, a confederation of 85 broadcasting organizations from 56 countries, and 37 associate broadcasters from a further 22 countries. Among prominent members are the British Broadcasting Company, Italy’s RAI and Radio France Internationale.
EBU recently came under some criticism from its dot-radio competitor BRS Media for what BRS cites as a conflict of interest in its application. EBU currently sits on the Governmental Advisory Committee for ICANN, and ICANN is the governing body that will decide who gets to manage dot-radio. Last week, BRS Media chairman and CEO George Bundy sent a letter to chair of the GAC, Heather Dryden, requesting that EBU withdraw its application to manage dot-radio, citing an unfair advantage.
The following answers were excerpted from a longer company-released statement from EBU, which was released prior to the BRS complaint and sent as a response to specific Radio World questions about their application. Some spelling has been modified.
Stay tuned for profiles of the three other dot-radio applicants, and more response from EBU about its place on the GAC.
Why did EBU apply for dot-radio?
The EBU represents the interests of the global radio community and can be relied on to provide a secure namespace to facilitate and speed the radio industry's digital, online evolution. Our responsibility is to every member of the radio community – not only the financially able or best equipped and to provide protection against cyber squatting or competing interests, who exploit commercial opportunities…
The radio broadcasting unions and associations – of which the EBU is a proud representative – promote cooperation between broadcasters and facilitate the exchange of audio and audiovisual content. An EBU-administered .radio TLD will enhance audio content distribution and community-wide services, champion quality and competition for the benefit of listeners and internet users, encourage the radio community to adopt best practices in cyberspace and provide an exemplary registry model.
Why should ICANN select the EBU's application over others?
Criteria set by ICANN gives priority to traditional communities seeking to enhance their presence on the internet. The EBU's non-profit, public-service ethos is its guiding principle. Its motivation in applying to administer the .radio TLD is for the greater good: it would benefit the radio industry and its millions of employees and consumers.
It is not in the public interest to see (dot-radio) managed as a generic TLD by a non-radio stakeholder with commercial interests. We are confident that we will be recognized by ICANN as the organization best placed to serve the interests of the world radio community.
EBU did not immediately reply to a Radio World request for comment on the subsequent letter to ICANN from BRS Media. We will share that if received.