300 Registrants For New Top-Level Domain Program
According to the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), their organization
has approved a total of 290 applicants who are registering for new generic top-level domains. As per
policy, a maximum of 50 new top-level domains can be applied for by a registrant.
Top-level domain refers to the extension that goes after the final period in a web
address (e.g. .com, .org, and .gov). There are currently 22 existing top-level domains
or TLDs and this includes about 250 domains specific for each country in the world. In a
bold move to expand available domains, the ICANN is currently developing a program that
will allow retailers and other organizations to create or purchase domains that are
related to their line of work or expertise. For example, the ".camera" domain can be
purchased by an organization that sells cameras, or use a person’s name such as ".macys"
for their specific business.
A registrant can successfully register such domain by going through the legal review
process for a domain application and paying the required $5,000 deposit. Therefore, this
means that a registrant has filed an expression of interest for a new top-level domain
application rather than the application itself. Interested entities will be given by the
ICANN until April 12 to file their applications, although there must already be a lodged
expression of interest not later than March 29.
ICANN chairman Steve Crocker has been quoted saying: "ICANN will decide about a
second round after seeing how many registrants take part in the first round." A large
first round—Crocker gave no number—will mean a longer time for review, delaying a
possible second round. "A second factor is, we've also committed to take a pause and
examine how well the system is working in every way," he adds, giving no specific
schedule except to say the process will take a "small number of years."