2014-11-13

ICANN FY15 Budget, New gTLD Domain Names #FAIL

ICANN depends on the income it receives from gTLD domain names registered in each fiscal year. ICANN's budget expenses have exploded due to the new gTLDs program, exhorbitant salaries, hub offices, and other unneccessary expenses. As a result, as part of its budget process, ICANN estimated the number of new gTLD domain names it expected (and needs) to be registered in  Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15: July 1, 2014 -- June 30, 2015) to "make ends meet." In its proposed ICANN FY15 budget, ICANN estimated 33 million new gTLD domain names would be registered in FY15. Then, after sane people said ICANN's estimate was "delusional," ICANN slashed its budget estimate by more than half, to arrive at its final adopted budget estimate of 15 million new gTLD domain names to be registered in FY15:

ICANN FY15 Budget assumes 15 million new gTLD domain name registrations from July 2014 through June 2015








So where are we in new gTLD domain name registrations for FY15? Well, using ntldstats.com as our data source, at the end of FY14 (June 30, 2014), total new gTLD domain name registrations were 1,419,110 (the number to be subtracted to get FY15 numbers). During the first quarter FY15 (July 1-September 30, 2014) there were only 1,098,895 new gTLD domain names registered--so 9 months to go in FY15 for ICANN to get an additional 13,901,105 new gTLD domain name registrations. I wonder if anybody at ICANN has brought this to the attention of Akram Atallah or Fadi Chehade?

I, and many others, have pointed out the many ways that ICANN's new gTLD domains are failing (see, e.g., Why ICANN's New gTLD Domains Are A #FAIL, Reason #1), but there is no #FAIL quite like the fact that ICANN's own hubris and hype of the new gTLDs is being exposed for the scam it mostly is, on ICANN's bottom-line. Bad policy has consequences--and for bad policy-making we have as a prime example, ICANN's ill-advised and misguided new gTLDs program. For ICANN to hit its number (15 million new gTLD registrations in FY15), the remaining 9 months in FY15 would have to average over 1.5 million new gTLD registrations per month (October 1, 2014--June 30, 2015). October numbers are in: only 584,748 new gTLD domain names were registered.

So here we are in November, 2014, and it's now clear that ICANN was as wrong about how many new gTLD domain names would be registered as they were about the whole dysfunctional new gTLDs program! You would think these kinds of errors in judgment would bring a little humility to the overbearing arrogance of ICANN, but apparently not--they just keep compounding their mistakes (and believing their own hype!). Remember, these are some of the same people who laughed at Esther Dyson when she spoke up and tried to save ICANN from its disastrous new gTLDs program. This is what we get when we have an unaccountable, California non-profit corporation, with no membership, running the DNS. At least with governments, people can overthrow or vote the bums out of office--but we have no choice with ICANN. We are stuck with an unaccountable, arrogant organization that excludes domain name registrants from having equal voice and representation as compared to the greedsters of the domain name industry who dominate ICANN's governance structure, Board of Directors, and decision-making processes for their own profit-making purposes.

Will the people at ICANN who were WRONG about the whole new gTLDs program (there won't be 33 million or even 15 million new gTLD domain name registrations in FY15) be held accountable for their errors in judgment? Of course not. Accountability is just another word at ICANN that means whatever you want it to mean--like "multistakeholder." In reality, at ICANN, it's all about the money, and the hype, until the numbers come in. Then, he who laughs last laughs best!

See also the follow-on post: 
ICANN Exists for Itself and Insiders, to Exploit Domain Name Registrants




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