ICANN held a press conference yesterday during which they revealed which companies, organiaations, geographical regions, etc., had applied for new gTLDs, and what those domains are to be. The press conference was hosted by ICANN’s Rod Beckstrom, CEO, and Kurt Pritz, Senior VP, and was followed by a forum and discussion session.
There have been various opinions online, predictions of what’s to come and how it may benefit users of the Internet; the initial announcement of new gTLDs brought panic to some, relief and excitement to others. Having received over 1900 applications, a great many people have been holding their breath in anticipation of this day; it proved to be very exciting and hugely informative.
Duplicated applications for generic extensions, opens comment period
Although there have been many applications for dot brands, it is unlikely that there will be any squabbling over names; the interest will be in those brands that ignored this opportunity, and those that applied purely with the intention of shelving the TLD.
The fiercest competition will be for the popular, ‘everyday’ words, such as .INSURANCE, .SHOP, .BANK; these TLDs will have brought duplicated applications and we can expect altercations, maybe even bloodshed. Applications for city TLDs should prove to be an easy situation due to the very uniqueness of the names.
Early indications from ICANN showed that there were a total of 1930 applications with a division of 1846 for standard TLDs and 84 designated as community based; 66 of the total are reported as geographic names with applications from 60 countries.
Anticipating possible contention, it was also the opening of the 60 day Comment Period and the formal Objection Period, seven months during which anyone may file an objection based on legal grounds, public interest or community standing.
Historic day for the Internet
The press conference commenced with Rod Beckstrom, CEO, ICANN and Kurt Pritz Senior VP, ICANN, announcing it as an historic day for the Internet, with things about to change forever.
- 911 North America
- 675 Europe
- 303 Asia Pacific (surprisingly low considering the possibility for IDN, and China boasting the largest use of the Internet)
- 24 Latin America and the Caribbean
- 17 Africa
Internationalised Domain Names was represented with 116 applications.
Duplicated applications will be dealt with in one of three ways
There were 231 duplications involving 751 applications, including: x13 .APP, x10 .ART, x11 .INC. When asked how these string contentions would be resolved the ICANN panel stressed three possible approaches involving the parties working together and settling themselves, preference being shown to community based applications, and finally if still undecided, the TLDs will go to auction.
Financial support for applicants
There is an Applicants’ Support Programme for ‘needy’ applicants looking for financial support with their applications; currently there are three registered for the programme.
Big name applicants like Google and Amazon
No surprise is the numerous applications from the ‘big name’ companies, Charleston Road Registry Inc’s (allegedly Google, but the panel was unwilling to confirm) put forward 101 applications, Amazon, 77.
ICANN prepared for complaints about provocative applications
There are possible provocative applications, .SUCKS, .SEX, .SEXY, .PORN, but ICANN claimed to be expecting challenges and are fully prepared.
The full list of applications for new gTLDs can be viewed online, with full details of all the gTLDs and details of the applicants.
The panel emphasised that these are still just applications and not yet approved, after rigorous evaluation some may be rejected and never see the light of day. Of the successful, the panel suggested that a total of 1000 could enter the Internet, with the first appearing Q1, 2013.
The possibility of another round of gTLDs is to be expected and will be discussed at ICANN 44, Prague, taking place in a couple of weeks.
ICANN was ready for all comments thrown at them whether positive or negative and stated several times, “compared to where we are today, it looks good.” Is it so bad now? We will have to wait and see.