ICANN Blog notes a press release in which New.net claims that its recent deal with Prodigy brings its user base to 42 million -- or "34 percent of the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate of total [current] Internet users."
Even when one allows for creative math and, um, optimistic estimates, these numbers are impressive -- impressive enough that we really need to ask: Where's the instability? Surely, for those committed to dragging their feet when it comes to introducing new gTLDs, this is a worst-case scenario: scads of protocol-crippled, proprietary quasi-TLDs manufactured on a for-profit basis outside of any accountable or even open consultative framework, and forced upon millions and millions of uninformed users. The net should be flailing, collapsing before our very eyes, right? Evidently not.
One would hope that our fine feathered government officials might think to ask ICANN staffers how New.net's actions bear on ICANN's "proof of concept." Ah, well...hope springs eternal on the human breast.
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