In the almost 300 page report of the comments received on the new gTLD guidebook version 2, the issue of most concern to domain holders, is still on the table.
Despite many comments, including ours, calling for ICANN to place price caps on registries for the new gTLD’s for registrations and renewals, ICANN choice to keep them out.
At issue, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
If the registries of the new gTLD’s are allowed to price registrations and renewals differently for each domain, the registries running the current domain extension want the same treatment. The .biz registry has been upfront about this issue and has even commented on this blog to the effect, that if price caps are lifted for the new gTLD’s they expect to have their agreement with ICANN amended to have the price caps lifted on their registry.
Verisign will be right behind them, lifting the price caps on .com’s.
Your best domain renewal fee could be set to whatever Verisign decided in its sole opinion it was worth.
If you don’t want to pay the fee, then you lose the domain and it will go to whomever is willing to pay it.
On page 159 0f the Guidebook, ICANN states regarding price caps:
Absent strict price controls, there are certain price protections for registrants in the proposed agreement: six‐month notice of price increases and a requirement to offer 10‐year registrations.
Given that new TLDs are expected to be distributed across the globe, effective price controls would be difficult to implement and enforce across many different economies.
ICANN will ensure measures are taken to clearly and effectively inform registrants regarding lack of price controls and protections, e.g., perhaps having registrars providing registry pricing rules to registrants.
Discussion will continue as to whether there should be some type of control on renewal pricing or prohibition on renewal price gouging.
So discussion will continue, but for now, no price caps.
Meaning your existing domains are still in high jeopardy of being priced out of your ownership.
For those who do not think ICANN reads your comments, the Guidebook certain shoots that theory down, as it cites hundreds of comments throughout the report.
As much as you hate all this red tape, bureaucracy, and as little interest as you have in the new gTLD’s, you got to keep up to date on this stuff, as its going to effect you, possibly in a very negative manner.