No place like Rome in the new gTLD program

As the new gTLD program gathers pace, excitement is mounting over the launch of a number of suffixes.  We have already seen big noises coming out of London, Paris and New York ahead of their respective new gTLDs due to launch in mid-2014 which will bring identity to the cities on the Internet.  But one city will not become part of the revolution of the Internet anymore.

Top Level Domain Holdings have decided to withdraw its application to manage the TLD for the capital of Italy, Rome.  Their application for .roma has not had the easiest of times since submission.  All Geographical applications were required to have the relevant governmental approval.  TLDH submitted their application with official approval “pending”, hoping that by the time Initial Evaluation was taking place, they would have the required permission to manage .roma.

Unfortunately, the required evidence has not been obtained meaning the application went into Extended Evaluation. But without any positive noises coming from the Italian government or the City of Rome, they have taken the step of withdrawing their application.

Based on the levels of interest NetNames has seen in both .london and .paris, I think that someone will regret not looking at this application for what it could bring to the city of Rome.  With no definite date of a second round of applications, the major cities that haven’t applied for a new gTLD will be playing catch up on the Internet.

Written by Stuart Fuller, Director of Commercial Operations and Communications, NetNames