New gTLDs FAQ

 The ICANN New gTLDs

What is a TLD?

TLD is and acronym for Top Level Domain. A Top Level Domain is the part of a web address that comes after the dot. For example, in the web address www.newgtldsite.com, the top level domain is ‘com’. Likewise, for the web address www.example.net, the top level domain is ‘net’. There are different types of TLD’s. Primarily, there exist two types, Generic (gTLD’s), and Country(ccTLD’s) TLD’s. Some generic TLD’s today are ‘.com’,’.net’,’.org’, ‘.biz’, ‘.info’. Country TLD’s are such as ‘.us’(United States), ‘de’ (Germany), ‘.ru’ (Russia) etc. List of tld’s wiki

So, What is the ICANN New gTLDs Program?

Up till now the available gTLD’s have been quite limited. Currently there are 21 gTLD’s including ‘com’, ‘net’, org, gov, biz. In 2011 ICANN, the governing body of Internet Naming, is expected to introduce a process that will allow sponsoring organizations to apply for and operate new generic Top Level Domain Registries. What this means in practical terms is that organizations will be able to develop and distribute fully functional internet domain names under top level domains like ‘.shop’, ‘.Paris’, ‘.poker’,’.music’ and anything else they might think of. So, in about a year or so, you will start seeing web addresses for websites that might look like ‘www.bluejeans.shop‘, ‘ www.crepes.paris‘ , ‘www.texasholdem.poker‘ , or ‘www.jazz.music‘. These domain names will work just like any ‘.com’ works today, you can type or click a link to these sites and they will display as you would expect.

Why is this happening?

As part of its mandate, ICANN is charged with increasing innovation and competition in the Internet Name Space. Domain names under the current TLD offering have become scarce, expensive, and limited in scope and use. An expansion and broadening is needed.

What does this really mean to you?

It can mean different things depending on your perspective. As a web user it means you will start seeing more specific TLD’s with more specific uses in the future. When you look for info about new cars you can visit ‘www.new.cars‘ or look for ‘www.jazz.music‘. Small business owners trying to reach customers on the web will be able to register and use a new TLD as in ‘www.pizzarestaurant.dallas‘, or ‘www.stuffedtoys,shop‘ as an web address for your business. Variety and choice for which TLD suits your web identity best is one of the benefits for businesses in the newgTLD realm.

Who is qualified to apply and operate a new TLD Registry?

Any organization can apply for a new Top Level Domain. But, the financial, technical, and critical application process can be complicated and expensive. To begin with, the application fee to ICANN is set at $185,000. There are other costs involved such as consulting, legal, administrative, a nd marketing costs as well. Depending on the nature of the TLD, the intent of use, the target market, the competion, a new Top Level Domain Registry can cost anywhere from perhaps $400,000 to over $10,000,000. For expert advice it would be good to consult with ‘New Top Level Domain Experts’