New gTLD applications start as planned at January the 12th
This Thursday, 12 January 2012, the 90 day application window for the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) opens at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Just about any public or private organization anywhere in the world may - under strict conditions - apply to create a new top-level domain of their choice and therefore Internet addresses will be able to end with almost any word in any language. In the last few weeks, the new gTLD program received quite some criticism, but ICANN will go ahead as planned.
The new gTLD possibilities, also known as ‘Dot Brand’, should offer organizations the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways. ICANN has posted a blog last Friday to let the world know that they are ready for the new gTLD launch. They have reviewed every critical aspect regarding the subject and decided to go ahead as planned.
In the last few weeks, the new gTLD program has been the subject of congressional hearings, letters from private and public sector leaders to ICANN, and a meeting of stakeholders hosted by U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Josh Bourne, President of the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), participated in the NTIA meeting and welcomed the opportunity to present CADNA's proposed solutions to the major problems global brand owners see in the new gTLD program. "CADNA looks forward to working constructively with ICANN, the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Congress to make the policy better," said Bourne.
CADNA's recommendations include, among other things:
The ICANN Board should determine and announce when the next round of new gTLD applications will occur. A major source of anxiety that businesses feel around the New gTLD Program stems from fear that if they do not acquire their own new gTLD in this first round, they will be put at a disadvantage relative to their competitors, in the event those competitors apply and gain a theoretical advantage from owning gTLDs, for an unknown period of time. Announcing the date of a second round would go far towards alleviating this anxiety.
In the blog post ICANN’s CEO Rod Beckstrom responded: “On Thursday, we held an information call with the Board of Directors. I informed the Board that we are prepared to move forward and to open the program as planned. In the package of materials, available at http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/, you can see the items that have been completed, as well as target dates for open items that require final resolution. These include support for needy applicants and a discussion of the timing of the next application round. The issues should be settled before the application window closes on 12 April but their resolution is not essential before the window opens on 12 January.”
We will continue following the developments around the new gTLDs and inform you about it.