Applications for new top-level domains open next month

The next Internet land rush will begin next year as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers opens the application process for new generic top-level domains.

The application window is expected to open Jan. 12 and close April 12. ICANN will spend between nine and 20 months evaluating the applications, so any new domains will not begin appearing in URLs until 2013, and maybe not until a year after that. The process will not be for the faint of heart or wallet. The evaluation fee is $185,000 for each application. And that fee is for the evaluation; you don’t get it back if your new .anything domain is not approved.

Related coverage:

New Internet domain names will add wrinkles, but how much risk?

Generic top-level domains are the codes at the end of the URL (or before the first slash), such as .com and .gov. ICANN in June agreed to open up the domain landscape and consider new ones, which could be goldmines for registrars selling second-level domains in the new top levels. But there are caveats to keep in mind, as sharpsters could well try to take advantage of the process.

“Be wary of anyone who claims to be able to reserve your place in line for a second-level registration for one of these new gTLDs,” ICANN warns. “Not only can no one predict which TLDs will be available, but the new TLD operator may choose not to sell second-level registrations.”

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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