ICANN recently announced that it plans to reveal the names of the organizations that applied for new generic top-level domains (gTLD) on April 30th. According to sources at ICANN, the Internet-governing organization will reveal the names two weeks after the application deadline of April 12th.
ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom is calling it a “highly anticipated event”, and many would likely agree, as the way many people use the web will forever change. It is this profound change, however, that has made some companies very nervous.
For years, ICANN has limited the number of top-level domains available for use, and while that number has gradually increased, it has remained relatively small. Most are familiar with .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU, .INFO, .US, and the various country TLDs, but with the new gTLD standards, any organization can apply for and govern its own top-level domain. For example, EverythingPR could have a .EPR, and I could have a .TAVIS.
ICANN has not yet revealed how many organizations have applied, but many of those organizations publicly expressed their desire to apply prior to the application period. For example, the City of Rome, Italy has a website dedicated to the presumably forthcoming .ROMA gTLD. Many other municipalities around the world are expected to be on ICANN’s April 30th list. With an evaluation fee of $185,000, however, what we will likely not see are small organizations or individuals interested in profiting from cybersquatting. Any late entry applicants should read the application guidebook on the ICANN website.