Practical Ecommerce

ICANN Exec On The new Top-level Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers, or ICANN, coordinates the domain name system globally. These tasks involve ensuring the domain name system functions properly and that individuals and companies can easily obtain and use domain names for their lawful purposes.

Recently, ICANN announced the expansion of “top level domain names,” which are the suffixes such as .com and .net. We asked Jason Keenan, Media Advisor with ICANN, how this top level domain expansion will work.

PeC: ICANN has recently approved changes in the issuance of top level domains, such as .com, .net and so forth. Can you tell us about those?

ALTKeenan: ICANN is getting ready to open a new application and approval process for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) in the second quarter of 2009. This will allow for the creation of new Internet extensions — the part of the domain name that comes after the dot.

It’s important to understand that people would be applying to create a new REGISTRY, which is a body that is responsible for the domain names that come under it — for instance Verisign is responsible for the .com registry.

PeC: Why did ICANN do this?

Keenan: Since it was created in 1998, ICANN’s mandate has been to foster competition in the domain name market. It’s why we have has two previous application rounds that say new gTLDs like .asia and .mobi create. This time, we’re aiming to design a process that will be used now and in the future.

ICANN has a multi-stakeholder policy development process that served as the foundation for the process design. It involved consultation with domain name industry, trade mark attorneys, the business sector, users, governments and technicians.

PeC: Who will issue these new top level domains?

Keenan: ICANN will be issuing domains based on the applications received.

PeC: What will the process be to obtain one? Will it be similar to locating a domain from a current domain registrar?

Keenan: Very hard to say at this point what the people running these new registries will charge. But a best guess is that to be competitive, they would be priced in the same range as current registrations.

Bear in mind that to obtain a new top level domain name, one must first
become a registry – which is the expansion ICANN is developing. At present, the best guess for the one-time application fee is between $100,000 and $500,000. It is the registries that determine who gets access to that particular top level domain.

Practical Ecommerce

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  1. Legacy User July 1, 2008 Reply

    I would love to see some type of verification process when registering a domain name to prove you have a legitimate reason to use that domain name. I understand that will not filter out all the cybersquatting and may complicate matters, but something needs to change… Anyone have any ideas, comments or concerns about putting a verification process on domain name registrations?

    — *Chad Rainey*

  2. Legacy User July 1, 2008 Reply

    Hello Karen:

    The name "Top Level Domain" is a defined term as used by ICANN. It refers to the portion of the domain name that is to the right of the dot. ".com", and ".net" are examples of top level domain names.

    With ICANN's announcement of new Top Level Domains, it could affect smaller ecommerce businesses in a variety of ways. Thus, we choose to publish this short interview.

    Thank you for the post.

    Kerry M.
    Practical eCommerce

    — *Kerry Murdock*

  3. Legacy User July 1, 2008 Reply

    The title of this article is misleading and inaccurate. The .ecommerce, .keenan, etc. domains you're talking about are most certainly NOT top level domains. They're the opposite; applicable and appropriate to a very small vertical market, and the rest of is couldn't care less about obtaining them.

    — *Karen Horne*

  4. Legacy User July 2, 2008 Reply

    I personally found this interview quite insightful. This business seems like it could be quite lucrative. I find Ms. Horne's statement ignorant and quite uneducated. This article clearly applies to the audience Practical eCommerce is trying to appeal to, and anyone else as well. Great interview.

    Phlange Welder
    La Chèvre Productions

    — *Phlange Welder*