Backers of the .mobi mobile top-level domain insist that such a domain is "needed" so people know they can access the internet from their mobile phones, and do so in a usable manner. As has been pointed out several times, a mobile-only domain is pointless and unnecessary, given the proliferation of mobile browsers that can handle full HTML as well as the ability of web sites to determine what type of browser and device somebody is using, and reformat and deliver content accordingly. The insistence of mTLD, the administrator of .mobi, that the best way to encourage uptake of the mobile web by users and content providers is to lure companies into buying a new domain and then forcing them to adhere to technical rules on how they serve content remains unconvincing, and could ultimately do more harm than good. Given all this, as well as ICANN's approval of other useless domains, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there's little more going on here than another domain-based money grab. But never fear: mTLD isn't about that, and is looking out for the little guy by coming up with an "equitable" way to determine who gets to buy the domains of certain generic words and phrases (like phone.mobi or sex.mobi) it's set aside as "premium names". What's this equitable format, since first-come, first-serve is apparently so inequitable? Why, an auction of course, to ensure each domain is sold for the maximum amount of money. That, and the fact that the list of premium names is some 149 pages long (PDF), doesn't do much to support the idea that there's a higher motive than a money-grab here.
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