New gTLD Delegations Set to Begin

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began its contracting process for New gTLD Registry Operators back in July 2013 when it ceremoniously invited representatives from four registries up on stage to sign the first registry agreements at its public meeting held in Durban, South Africa. This was a huge milestone for ICANN and sent good vibes throughout the community that the new gTLD program was on track.  ICANN had announced that it would be able to sign agreements to the tune of 20 per week.

Unfortunately, the plans for the contracting process didn’t fully go as anticipated.  It took over a month for the next twelve contracts to finally get executed, and today only 70 new gTLD contracts have executed. It seemed like progress had been stalled after community insiders presented ICANN with concerns over “name collisions” — the possibility that requests for internal names used in private networks (.mail, .home, or .corp) will query the public root and thus collide with newly delegated TLDs in the public root —  in New gTLDs, and asked ICANN to further delay the launch of New gTLDs until it can guarantee the safety and stability issues in the DNS.

Despite the many challenges that face the program, today ICANN enthusiastically announced that the first four domains had been cleared to proceed to delegation.  The first four strings were the first to contract with ICANN and now appear to be on their way into the Internet’s Root Zone.  There is no word on the timeline for the delegation, nor for subsequent launch, but New gTLD Applicants can sleep well tonight knowing that progress has been made.

These first New gTLDs to be added to the root are all IDN strings:

  • شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – the Arabic word for “Web” or “Network”
    Registry : International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
  • онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Russian for “Online”
    Registry: Core Association
  • сайт (xn--80aswg) – Russian for “Web site”
    Registry: Core Association
  • 游戏 (xn--unup4y) – Chinese for “Game”
    Registry: Spring Fields, LLC

Indeed this is a big step for the future of the Internet and 2014 will bring about a lot of changes to the Domain Name System.


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