It looks like 2007 is going to be an awkward year for the domain world.
Earlier we had the collapse of RegisterFly, now we have the strong possibility of the .travel domain going bust.
The .travel domain has always been an oddity.
The idea behind it is fairly obvious, but when you combine the strict rules, price and length of the domain it becomes apparent why it has been such a damp squid. To date a mere 25 thousand .travel domains have been registered.
When you compare that to .cat it becomes quite silly. The .cat TLD is aimed at Catalan culture and has managed to get almost the same number of registrations in a shorter period of time!
According to recent filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission the company behind Tralliance, TheGlobe.com Inc., will run out of cash later this month:
As of May 4, 2007, the Company had a cash and cash equivalents balance of approximately $480,000. Notwithstanding previous cost reduction actions taken by the Company and its recent decision to shutdown its unprofitable computer games and VoIP telephony services businesses in March 2007 (see Note 3, “Discontinued Operations”), the Company continues to incur substantial consolidated operating losses, although reduced in comparison with prior periods, and management believes that the Company will continue to be unprofitable in the foreseeable future. Based upon the Company’s current financial condition, as discussed above, and without the infusion of additional capital, management does not believe that the Company will be able to fund its operations beyond May 2007.
So what happens then?
With nobody to cover the costs or run the TLD what happens to it?
On a positive note the registrant data is a lot safer than in the case of a registrar collapse and Neustar have been managing the backend operations for the registry.
Does ICANN even have the procedures in place to deal with this kind of situation?
The situation will become clearer over the next few weeks (hopefully!)