First gTLDs delegated, Sunrises commence and General Availability to commence in Q1 2014

ICANN announced last week it has delegated, or introduced into the internet’s Root Zone, the first four generic Top Level Domains. These four gTLDs are the next step in ICANN’s New gTLD Programme and are all internationalised domain names.

These four new gTLD strings that have been delegated are:

  • 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

ICANN had always planned that the first gTLDs would be IDNs and described the move as “an effort to create a more inclusive internet.” IDNs are currently only available as Second Level Domains and country code Top Level Domains.

“The Registries that will operate these IDN gTLDs successfully completed a rigorous application process designed to protect the stability of the Domain Name System while introducing new gTLDs into the internet,” ICANN said in a post on their blog.

The first of these gTLDs to launch their Sunrise period has already gone live, with the dotShabaka Registry quietly launching their Sunrise period on 31 October.

The Sunrise period will run for 60 days, concluding on 29 December. Then the Landrush Period will run for 30 days until 31 January with General Availability commencing on 4 February 2014.

Donuts, who applied for 307 gTLDs, are also said to be launching the Sunrise periods for up to eleven of their gTLDS even though they have not been delegated but for which there are no other applicants. The likely eleven are:

  • .bike

  • .camera

  • .clothing

  • .equipment

  • .estate

  • .guru

  • .holdings

  • .lighting

  • .singles

  • .ventures

  • .voyage

There are also another 17 gTLDs that Donuts have been reportedly slated for their Sunrise periods to open by early December. The Sunrise periods for these gTLDs is also likely to be for 60 days to allow trademark holders to register desired domains that include their trademark.

Following the Sunrise period, gTLD operators will then be required to hold a Landrush period, which for the first Donuts gTLDs, is likely to start in January 2014 and then General Availability can commence.

Also, contracts were signed last week for the .berlin and .wien (Vienna) new gTLDs with ICANN. These are the first two cities to have their contracts signed. Along with the applicant of the dotShabaka gTLD, they have all publicly said they are planning to launch in the first quarter of 2014.

Written by David Goldstein, Online Researcher and Consultant.