.mobi

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DotMobi logo.jpg
Status: Active
country: International
Manager: mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd.,
a fully-owned subsidiary of Afilias
Registry Provider: mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd.
Date Implemented: 2005 - 2006
Type: sTLD

.mobi is a sponsored top level domain used for websites optimized for access by mobile devices, such as smartphones.[1] ICANN entered into negotiations with the applicant, dotMobi, in 2004;[2] the extension was approved in 2005,[3] and it began resolving as a usable extension in 2006.[4] The extension was originally approved by the ICANN Board at ICANN 23 in Luxembourg.[5]

The applicant, and current manager, dotMobi was originally founded through investments by and participation from major companies involved in mobile technology and communication, including: Hutchison 3, GSM Association, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Google.[6][7] The company was originally known as Mobi JV.[8] They apparently considered other possible extensions for the mobile market, including .mob and .cell, though their testing showed that .mobi was the most internationally recognizable extension for mobile-related Internet content.[9]

Afilias

Afilias was an early partner in the bid and delegation for .mobi. They originally were provided registry services to the dotMobi company. In February, 2010, Afilias acquired all issued and outstanding stock in the company and mTLD became a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias.[10]

In July 2013, Afilias requested that ICANN lift the restrictions set out in its Registry Agreements for .pro and .mobi that forbids Afilias from owning more than a 15% share in the registrar company that sells the TLDs.[11]

Advisors

Given that .mobi is a sponsored top level domain, it is tied to two advisory boards that are charged with representing the sponsoring community to mTLD and Afilias, they are the dotMobi Policy Advisory Board (PAB) and the .mobi Advisory Group (MAG). These bodies include representation of the 14 original founders of dotMobi (Mobi JV).[12]

Opposition

The idea of a entire TLD dedicated to the mobile market was met by criticism and skepticism by some, including Tim Berners-Lee, a prominent developer of the modern Internet.[13][14] His open letter against the implementation of .mobi can be read here. The W3C was opposed to the implementation of .mobi as they saw it as a fracturing of the web. They noted that this is the first time that sites are not delinated by their content, such as the differences in a .gov and .edu site, but in the way that content is accessed. Thus, they argue, that it had the potential of creating an entirely new Internet that had no direct relation to the wider web. They believed that the same mobile access could be provided in a manner more consistent with a single, universal Internet that is not delineated by the type of device accessing it.[15]

References