The explosion of the new generic Top Level Domains is almost upon us, with the Prioritisation Draw having taken place on Monday 17th December in LA.  For those of you who haven’t heard, two of the biggest stories to come out of the draw are the Pope getting his Christmas wish with .catholic in Chinese coming out first, and thanks to ICANN’s (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) priority draw, .christmas won’t be launched until 2014 as it came out at number 1290.

There has been limited coverage in the press thus far on the new generic Top Level Domains that will launch from mid 2013, and we know that not many people outside of the domain name industry are aware or fully understand what and why this is happening.

Where as we may have our own reservations about the ‘biggest shake up of the Internet in years’, as a UK Registrar and Internet business, we feel it’s extremely important to raise awareness and educate people about what’s happening.  We can’t hide from it and at some stage in the future we will all be affected.  So now’s a great time to learn with us!

We’ve been following ICANN’s progress and all the discussions surrounding this controversial subject since the beginning.  We’ve also been in talks with the Guardian and the BBC about new gTLDs, sharing our opinions and sharing in the debate.

Our Domain Name specialist Kelly Salter attended the ICANN meetings this year in Prague and Toronto, has consulted on brand applications, participated in debates and even stayed up all night listening to the draw on Monday.  Even Kelly would admit to being a domain geek on the subject!  Below are some of Kelly’s ‘best bits’ in our recent press coverage.

From mid 2013 ICANN will launch up to 1,000 new domain name extensions within a one year period, not all of these will be open for registration and there will be many seen as controversial. We will be doing our part to keep you up to date with what is happening through our newsletters, blog articles, social media and our dedicated new gTLD website page. 2013 will bring about the biggest change the Internet has ever seen and we’ll do our best to advise you every step of the way.

guardian.co.uk, 21 Nov 2012: Global government panel files web domain objections

Kelly Salter, a domain product specialist at web hosting firm Names.co.uk, said the increasing opposition could derail the plans until 2014.

She added: “The fact that 270 objections have come from the Governmental Advisory Committee highlights the concerns surrounding the new generic top level domains from Icann.

“Even as a UK registrar of domain names we feel the expensive application process has been mismanaged with major brands trying to own generic domains like .beauty that could exclude real competition – especially smaller businesses desperate to succeed in difficult times.”

Read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/nov/21/government-panel-web-domain-objections?INTCMP=SRCH

guardian.co.uk, 17 Dec 2012: New top-level internet domains to launch in 2013

Other domain names in the lottery draw on Monday include .blog, .music, .hotel and .london, with the latter applied for by London & Partners, the official promotional firm for the capital.

Kelly Salter, a domain product specialist at web hosting firm Names.co.uk, said successful candidates on Monday would have a huge competitive advantage in launching their new internet addresses.

Read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/17/internet-domain-names-new?INTCMP=SRCH

bbc.co.uk 18 December 2012: .cymru beats .scot to early internet address name review

One UK-based registrar said that the initial new gTLDs to go live would benefit from their early start.

“Those that go first will get a lot more marketing opportunities,” Kelly Salter from names.co.uk told the BBC.

“At the moment there are relatively few extensions to choose from that give you global coverage – so there is the opportunity to get great exposure.

“But if you’re number 500 to be approved, our customers will have become desensitised by that point. So the impact to domains launching towards the end of the process will be that they have to work harder to make people want to use them.”

Icann has said it plans to let the first batch of new gTLDs in May 2013.

Ms Salter said after the launch date she expected about 20 would be released each week with the final ones going live before the end of 2014.

Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20768273

guardian.co.uk, 18 Dec 2012: No-ho-ho – .christmas delayed till 2014, thanks to domain name lottery

Kelly Salter, a domain name specialist at the web hosting firm Names.co.uk who watched the lottery draw, said: “The pope may have only had his Twitter for a week, but clearly the Vatican were saying their prayers with .catholic in the Chinese language coming top of the ICANN new gTLD draw last night – and poor Santa with .christmas falling way down the list at 1290.

“It looks like we’re in for a traditional Christmas, even Santa turning up for the new gTLD priority draw couldn’t help the .christmas application. It’s unlikely we’ll see .christmas until 2014.”

Salter said she expects ICANN to launch about 750 of the new internet domains – technically called “generic top-level domains” – from April next year. In 2014, about 1,000 of the addresses are expected to go live.

Read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/18/christmas-domain-name-lottery-draw