What are the new TLDs?
There are 7 new TLDs. Each was proposed by an individual organization or business, and they include:
.biz – JVTeam LLC, proposed a suffix specifically for businesses. ICANN found it the strongest of several .biz proposals. It is unclear at this point how the company would handle requests from individuals and non-business groups.
.pro – RegistryPro Ltd. proposed .pro for professionals. For example, physician John Doe could register as johndoe.med.pro. If John Doe were a lawyer, he could register as johndoe.law.pro. Individuals would have to prove their professional status.
.info – Afilias LLC, a consortium of 19 registration companies, proposed .info as a truly global option for general information, as most .com registrations are in the United States.
.name – The Global Name Registry Ltd. proposed a category for individuals. It would reserve second-level names such as smith.name and let individuals register john.smith.name or betty.smith.name. It is not clear at this point how the company would deal with multiple individuals named John Smith.
.museum – The Museum Domain Management Association, a group created through the International Council of Museums, proposed the suffix for accredited museums worldwide.
.coop – The National Cooperative Business Association proposed a special designation for business cooperatives such as credit unions and rural electric coops. The suffix would be available for members of the group and its counterparts worldwide.
.aero – Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques, an international aviation group, proposed .air for the airlines, airports, computer reservation systems and related industries. ICANN countered with .aero as an alternative that could be more globally recognized.
What impact will these new domains have?
With some 20 million dotcom names registered worldwide, easy-to-remember addresses have been almost completely used up, resulting in many calling for new TLDs to be put in place. But the implementation of these new TLDs has received mixed reviews. Industries seeking expansion applaud the new TLDs, while those that believe ICANN unfairly favors large corporate interests over individual Internet users are criticizing these latest developments. This clash of beliefs has resulted in several protests against ICANN and their new regulations.
These new TLDs are expected to initiate a new Internet land rush, with speculators and trademark holders competing to claim the best names first in this first-come, first-serve marketplace.
While the new TLDs will ease the congestion for commercial domain owners, some are speculating that names under .COM are likely to remain the names of choice, due to the worldwide establishment of them. However, the new Domains under .biz, .coop, etc., will be just as functional and soon universally recognized.
When will these new TLDs be in place?
At this time, there is no definitive time set. ICANN must now negotiate contracts with companies or groups that made the winning TLD proposals. The company administrators then need to coordinate, design and develop the technology needed for the shared database/repository information, and officials haven’t put firm dates on the availability of registration services. However, they are expected to be in place by the end of Q2, 2001.
Will current domain name owners be given special registration preference?
No. It depends on the rules put in place by the TLD Registry. Some may impose a period of time for trademark holders to register first. Other rules may require compliance with the form of TLD. An example – only aerospace companies can register .aero. Otherwise these new TLDs will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis to anyone that wants to register them. Even the domain name you want is already registered by someone else in a com/net/org, you still have the opportunity to register it in one of the new TLDs. However, if you successfully register a domain name in one of the new TLDs that is currently trademarked by an individual or company with an existing com/net/org, your domain name registrations could be challenged by that individual or company. Second level domains in the new gTLDs that embody existing trademark rights may be held only by the owner of the trademark rights. If you register a Domain Name in any of the new gTLDs that embodies trademark rights owned by another person, the registration will be subject to cancellation if the trademark owner brings a challenge under the dispute settlement regime.
Will more TLDs be put into place in the future?
Adding suffixes to the Internet is akin to adding area codes to the national phone system to accommodate the growing number of customers. For this reason, more TLDs are expected in the future, although ICANN has thus far avoided such questions as to when and how more new TLDs will be implemented.
Where can I find more information on these new TLDs?
The official ICANN web site http://www.icann.com/.