ICANN raises awareness of unique TLDs

Companies, community groups, cities can now apply for unique domain names

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By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  October 9, 2011

ICANN, the internet domain name creation and registration authority is attending GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK to raise awareness on the launch of new top level domains (TLDs) which can be company specific.

These new domain names can be company brands, such as .nike or .samsung, city or country names such as .london or .abudhabi, family names or community names, for example .zulu for people of Zulu background, or concept names such as .fun or .family.
“This new program is the most significant opening in the history of the domain name system. We are opening up the right of the dot more broadly than has been done before,” says to Rod Beckstrom, CEO of ICANN.

Registration for these new domain names is open from 12th January 2012 to 12th April 2012, but the application procedure requires applicants to fill in a 300 page application document, which features business plans for the company, as well as submit $185,000 with the application. The entire application process from submitting the application to implementing the domain name can cost up to $2 million, according to Bechstrom. This figure includes the fees for a company to write the applications on behalf of the interested business as well as the $400,000 in total fees to ICANN.

ICANN also conducts background checks on the businesses that apply to make sure that no member of the company has a criminal background and that the business is up to the rigorous standards necessary for the TLD implementation.

Priority for domain names goes to community groups rather than big business, so for example, if computer giant Apple and the Apple Growers association want the .apple domain name, the Apple Growers Association would have priority for that domain name.

So far in the internet there are 22 top-level domain names, such as .com, .ae, .net and .travel, but with the opening up of domain names, ICANN expects up to 4,000 new TLDs to be registered in total over the next four years.

ICANN has a maximum capacity to process and implement 1,000 domain names per year, so if companies miss the upcoming registration period, they may not get a chance to register for their TLD for five more years.

Rod Beckstrom, CEO of ICANN is currently undertaking a 20 country, two-month global tour to raise awareness about the availability of unique TLDs.

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