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iGoldRush Blog   January 2012

ICANN Now Accepting New gTLD Applications

January 12, 2012 in News

In a historic move, ICANN opened the doors to new gTLDs today. After more than seven years of planning, companies can officially submit their applications today for their own custom domain name gTLD (general top level domain). This move opens the world of TLDs to brands, services, organizations, and even locations. From .brand to .vegas, ICANN estimated that they could add between 300 – 1,000 new gTLDS per year, though this opening round will be limited to 500 applications.

To register, companies must complete the TLD Application System (TAS) on ICANN”s website and submit it along with a $5,000 fee, with the additional $180,000 due with the full application. This fee covers the initial application process and ICANN stated that additional fees may be required during the course of the review process. This initial fee does not cover any infrastructure fees that may occur with a new gTLD.

Companies have until March 29, 2012 to submit their application using their TLD Application System (TAS) and until April 12 to submit a full application. While there will be future application periods, it’s speculated that further applications will not be accepted for another two to three years after the April deadline.

Once an application is submitted, ICANN estimates between 9-20 months for the review process depending on the specifics of the application, gTLD usage, etc. While they’ve publicly stated they expected the first of the new gTLDs to launch this year, it’s likely that we won’t see any until 2013.

While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the new gTLDs, there is also a lot of skepticism with many citing industry benefits and voicing concerns.

Potential Benefits of the New gTLDS

According to ICANN, the new gTLDS create an environment for innovation, opportunity, job creation, and economic growth. Other benefits that have been cited include:

  • Domain Awareness – Many worry that apps and social sites, such as Facebook, often take the place of domain names. The upcoming launch of hundreds, if not thousands, of new gTLDs puts domain names in the mainstream news, allowing more people than ever before to learn about and enter then industry, creating more demand.
  • Global Impact – The new gTLDs will have an extraordinary global impact as they expand even further to include all types of words in many different languages. For the first time ever, gTLDs will be able to include words in non-Latin languages, such as Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic.

Potential Concerns of the New gTLDs

Despite these potential benefits, many are voicing serious concerns, such as:

  • Trademark Issues – Will companies who own many trademarks actually benefit from the additional gTLDs or is it simply adding enormous costs? And with the number of trademarks out there, how will trademark conflicts be resolved?
  • User Confusion – Will the new gTLDS confuse the average user, while enabling higher levels of fraud and criminal activity online?
  • Domain Value – Will the addition of thousands of new gTLDs drive down the value of current extensions, particularly the .com king?
  • Impact on ccTLDs – Will potential new location based gTLDs, such as .NYC or .LONDON, drive down usage and value of ccTLDs?

The new gTLDs most likely won’t have any effect on you in the foreseeable future, though no one can say for sure. Twenty years ago, it wasn’t common to have a domain name, but now they’re an integral part of everyday life. It remains to be seen what impact these new gTLDS will have on the Internet over the next 20 years.

Will the new gTLDs actually launch? What, if any, impact do you think these new gTLDs will have on the average user? On the Internet as a whole? Are there any extensions that you think could be useful?

We’re interested in hearing your thoughts on this historic launch!

One Response to ICANN Now Accepting New gTLD Applications

  1. 1. The gtld’s will have a positive benefit, bringing people from other languages to use the internet more than ever.

    2. Only a few new tld’s will become successful. They will be extensions that serve certain niches.

    3. I don’t believe the new extensions will cause as much confusion as many suspect because they won’t know that a lot of them exist.

    4. I believe the .com owners are too optomistic about .com being more popular than ever because all of the new extensions are coming out.

    You must remember that the internet is not well defined yet. There are 5 year old kids who have never been on the internet; they will see certain extensions as being more relevant and having more meaning than a straight .com.

    .TV -For watching webcasts/television online.
    .Info – For finding information.
    .Gay – For gay community websites.
    .Bank – For secure banking sites.
    .Com/Biz for finding business websites.

    If you really think about it, this makes a lot of sense once the internet becomes more organized and more defined. Poeople do not have the time to surf the web like they currently do throught Google.

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