Introduction to the new gTLDs

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ICANN’s Historic Change to Internet's Domain Name System

In January 2012, organizations and individuals around the world can apply for their own Internet extensions. One can also create a new Top Level Domain (IDNs) in any language or script that may not appear in the English alphabet. ‘ICANN’ estimated 4.9 billion people are currently not online. The use of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) should help lower that number. Such initiatives will potentially change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and global branding will take place.

The application for a new gTLD is a complex process. ICANN has a set of specific technical rules that apply to all proposed gTLD strings. An applicant will need to demonstrate the operational, technical and financial capability to run a registry and comply with additional specific requirements. This involves a number of significant responsibilities, as the operator of a new gTLD is running a piece of visible Internet infrastructure.

There is a list of reserved gTLD names that are unavailable for general use. Furthermore, applicants for a gTLD that is a geographic name must meet additional requirements. When the first application round opens, candidates will apply via an online application system called TAS – TLD Application System. ICANN plans to hold additional rounds in the future. The exact dates for these future rounds are not available.

The Applicant Guidebook will describe in detail the criteria that must be met in order to be approved for a new gTLD, including application requirements and the evaluation fee. The evaluation fee is estimated at US$185,000. Applicants will be required to pay a US$5000 deposit fee per requested ap¬plication slot when registering. The US $5000 will be credited against the evaluation fee. Applicants may be required to pay ad¬ditional fees in certain cases where specialized process steps are applicable. Additionally, registrants will fund their own business startup and operations costs.

The Applicant Guidebook provides a step-by-step procedure for new gTLD applicants. It specifies what documents and information are required to apply; the financial and legal commitments; and what to expect during the application and evaluation periods. The Applicant Guidebook can be found here: New gTLD Guidebook


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed in 1998. It is an internationally organized, non-profit multi-stakeholder corporation dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. The new gTLD program is designed to be self-funding. It is possible ICANN will over-collect or even under-collect for this first round of applications. If the fee collection exceeds ICANN's expenses, the community will be consulted as to how that excess should be used.

ICANN has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. The DNS translates the domain name you type into the corresponding IP address, and connects you to your desired website. The DNS also enables email to function properly, so the email you send will reach the intended recipient.

ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. Visit the ICANN

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