During a meeting here at the Raffles City Convention Center in Singapore, ICANN’s board of directors voted 13-1 with one abstention, to approve its new gTLD program, receiving a standing ovation.
In January next year, essentially any organisation will be able to submit an application to ICANN for a virtually any gTLD, using the rules set down in a 300-page Applicant Guidebook.
It will cost a bare minimum of $185,000 per application – many organisations are expected to commit over $1m to their bids – and only one string will be permitted per application.
Many large companies are expected to apply for so-called “.brand” extensions – Canon and Hitachi have announced plans for .canon and .hitachi, for example. Others will apply for potentially mass-market terms such as .music, .web, blog, .porn and .sport. Some, such as .bank, will likely be restricted to very narrow groups of registrants. There will also be applications for geographic gTLDs – city domains such as .london, .nyc, and .berlin, or cultural identifiers such as .scot and .irish.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the program will enable the creation of domain extensions in non-Latin character sets, such as Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Cyrillic. While ICANN’s decision was welcomed by almost everybody attending its 41st public meeting here in Singapore, the decision was still very controversial. The resolution explicitly acknowledges that ICANN has overruled the wishes of national governments, represented by its Governmental Advisory Committee, for only the second time in its history.
The first time it did so, by approving the .xxx extension in March, it caused the US Department of Commerce to grant itself stricter oversight powers over ICANN, which it believes has started to act outside of the public interest. The decision to approve the program today was also criticised by abstaining ICANN director Mike Silber, who said it was not ready yet and subject to “ego-drive deadlines”.
This is believed to be a reference to the fact that ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush and director Rita Rodin Johnson – two of the program’s biggest cheerleaders – both see their terms on the board come to an end this Friday.
– See more at: http://www.backboneconnect.co.uk/blog/world-braces-for-domain-name-explosion.html#sthash.0tQmZyQa.dpuf
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