Feb 16

ICANNs gTLD Applicant List Detailed

On February 7th, 2012, ICANNWiki published a wiki list comprised of known applications for TLDs being applied for in ICANN’s New gTLD Program. It is broken down by what “type” of gTLD the applicant is applying for.

A lot of information has been added to this list since it was released about the applicant and registry provider for each new gTLD.  As the applicants make themselves known, their reference information is added to the list.

A number of the new extensions will undoubtedly be accepted and will expand the list of accepted extensions currently available on the web.

The root zone database list of active domain extensions is bigger than you may expect as many country code extensions (ccTLDs) heavily populate the list.  Country code extensions contain abbreviations like like, .tv (Tuvalu), .cc (Cocos Islands), .us (United States), and .ca (Canada) and can provide branded variations to a .com.

When the new extensions are added to this list you will have many more choices available for domain name and website addresses. Stay tuned as we monitor the new gTLD applicant program and prepare for newly available extensions in early 2013.

UPDATE:  Kate appropriately mentions that ICANNWiki is not an official operation of ICANN.  This article was updated to reflect this information.

Feb 03

ICANN gTLD Application Timetable For 2012

ICANN began accepting applications for new gTLDs January 12th, 2012.  This means that if you have the tech-savvy, experience and organization ready to operate your own registry, you could run the next .com!

With over 100 million domains already registered at Verisign, starting at number 1 is an exciting new prospect for businesses and existing domain owners! Popular domains that are already taken in the .com extension will be available in a wider field of newly accepted extensions.

Lots work was undertaken by ICANN to begin accepting applications for new gTLDs.  So far organizations with new registrations and domain extension applications have been pouring in. ICANN already has it’s hands full just managing the TLD Application System (TAS) as it’s already lost some applications along the way.

Out of a large list of the potential extensions are some great new ideas and organizations behind them.  The highlights for us are .shop, .web, .bank, .hotel, .eco, to name but a few.

A large number of participants and organizations are behind each new domain extension application.  For example, the Dot Eco Community Council includes global organizations like Green Cross, Greenpeace and WWF to international groups like the Akatu Institute of Brazil and the Green Belt Movement of Kenya.

Whether you’ve applied or not, your next question might be: “It’s after 12 January. What happens next?”

Organizations who choose to apply to operate a top-level domain have merely begun a journey that will most likely carry them into 2013. If you’re curious about the next phases of ICANN’s New gTLD Program, here are highlights of what to expect summarized below:

29 March: Registration Closes

In the online TLD Application System (TAS), an applicant must first register, and then apply.

12 April: Application Window Closes

This is the last day ICANN accepts applications, including all evaluation fees, for a gTLD.

1 May: “Reveal Day”

After checking all applications for essential completeness, ICANN will publicly post all TLD character strings that have been applied for, and who applied for each.

12 June: Initial Evaluation Begins

Beginning 12 June, various evaluation panels will conduct the string reviews and applicant reviews that make up the Initial Evaluation.

12 November: Results of Initial Evaluation

The initial evaluation period ends. ICANN posts the outcome of Initial Evaluation; whether applications have passed or failed evaluation.

29 November: Last day to request Extended Evaluation

The Extended Evaluation period allows for one more exchange of information between the applicant and evaluators, to clarify information in the application.

30 November: Later phases for complex applications

In the ideal case, an application that has encountered no problems has passed evaluation by this date.

As you can see, the New gTLD Program forecasts a busy 2012. Some new gTLDs will clear the process late in the year, and be ready for delegation in early 2013. Other new gTLDs will have a longer path.

The dates listed here are based on the estimated timeframes as laid out in the Applicant Guidebook. Should the volume of applications or other circumstances require adjustment to the timeframes, ICANN will post updated information.

Now you know what else to expect from the New gTLD Program this calendar year.

Feb 02

Rise In Alternative Top Level Domain Popularity

Sedo’s domain market study is showing a rise in alternative top level domain popularity in which they state:

At 44%, .com domains were the most frequently traded in 2011, with .de names a strong second at 18%. 2011 saw 150 different TLDs being traded on the marketplace, and for the first time, previous top ten candidates such as .fr and .es dropped down the list to be replaced by .co and .me.

New ccTLDs on the block, .co and .me, are entering the market strongly with respectable resale values as they move into the top ten most frequently sold TLDs:

The average and median prices for both of these TLDs suggest a strong future. Both .co and .me benefit from their value to advertisers, marketers, and individuals looking for a strong, brandable alternative to .com names for their online presence. Key examples of their recent use have been Twitter’s t.co, and Google’s plus.me.

Top 10 highest price domain purchases last year include gambling.com for $2.5M, dudu.com for $1M, and 88.com for $850k.  A ccTLD domain, aktien.de, made the list at number 4 selling for €500k.

Jan 27

100 Million Com Domains Registered at Verisign

This is a wonderful achievement for the Verisign registry! Founded in 1995, Verisign acquired Network Solutions, which operated the .com, .net and .org gTLDs under agreements with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the United States Department of Commerce.

Verisign frequently releases an almost 1 GB zone file containing the list of .com domains it manages in it’s registry.  These domains include “dark domains”, domain names that exist, but are not pointed to nameservers.

According to Domain Tools, yesterday the zone file listed 99,837548 .com domain names and that number has been growing by an average of about 22,000 net new .com domain names per day so far in 2012.

They have diligently calculated the number of .com domains includes those listed in the zone file plus the dark domains managed by Verisign to be over 100.2 million.

That number continues to climb every day so there may yet be another milestone to come!

Thank you to all of our customers and the millions of people that provide unique content and continue to enrich and embolden the most popular top level extension on the web today.

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