Many of us own a domain name. I have a few – trefor.net, philosopherontap.com plus all the kids own name domains. Not many of us own a generic Top-Level domain though. In fact gTLDs (.com, .org, .uk etc) are typically managed by not for profit national infrastructure players such as Nominet although there are some in private hands.
In June 2011 ICANN announced that they would be looking to stimulate innovation on the internet by making it easier for you to own your own gTLD. You could have non latin script versions – for example Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic. There was a rush of applicants, $185k payment in hand. Unfortunately the ICANN registration system had a bug in it and they were unable to complete the registration process on the originally planned date of 12th April. The system was therefore frozen whilst the engineers looked for their magic wands.
Looks like they fixed the bug on Monday and the system started working again. You have until midnight on 30th May (presumably Californ-eye-a time) to get registered. When the system went down they had 1,268 registrations. That’s a lot of new gTLDs. They won’t all end up as production entities but we are clearly going to see many new domains hit our screens.
We can’t see the actual domains applied for yet – they won’t release that info until the end of the registration process. Most major cities will have one – London, Berlin, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch et al and I understand that Nominet has applied to have .cymru and .wales. I quite like the idea of having [email protected] but I expect there will be a few other Davies’ interested as well:)
I’ll write a post in Welsh when the .cymru domain comes out – those of you not fortunate to have been brought up in God’s country can read it using Google translate.
More on the new gTLDs here.
PS don’t think it stops at $185k. You will need a few million to do it properly.
PPS They would have a lot of fun with .llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch – think of all the spelling mistakes/repeat attempts to get it right 🙂