The NRF is asking the department to "hold this initiative in abeyance until such time that the business community can be adequately informed of, and digest, its as yet inadequately explained parameters," Duncan wrote to Lawrence Strickling, the assistant secretary for communications and information at the department.
While ICANN, the nonprofit that oversees Internet addresses, has said more domain names will spur innovation and commerce, the NRF contends that businesses do not have enough specifics about the domain-name extensions yet, including how many will be approved.
ICANN plans to start accepting applications for domain-name extensions in January. That would allow domains to go beyond the standard .com, .edu and .org and include new domains like .car or .hotel.
ICANN, Duncan wrote, "should not move forward on matters that potentially affect major segments of the nation's economy without providing reasonably circumscribed, up-front guidance. To date, that guidance is lacking."
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