Google Pays $25m for .APP As ICANN gTLD Sale Coffers Grow
Google has paid $25,000,001 for the .app gTLD in an auction held on 25 March making it by far the largest amount paid in an auction for a new gTLD string. As a result ICANN now has net proceeds of $57,015,622 in its piggy bank as a result of auctions for new gTLDs that were in contention. All proceeds from auctions are being segregated and withheld from use until ICANN’s Board of Directors define a plan for an appropriate use of the funds through consultation with the community.
AFNIC Opens Short .FR Domains to all
As of 16 February, AFNIC allowed any eligible registrant to register one and two character domains in the .fr ccTLD in their Landrush phase. The Sunrise phase commenced on 9 December for brand owners. During the Landrush phase, prices are determined on a sliding scale depending on how early during the phase the domains are registered. Registration fees start at €15,000 per domain. By the fourth week the fee will be €100. The process is aimed at deterring domainers. Then on 17 March any remaining domains will become available at the same fees as all other .fr domains.
.LGBT General Availability Commences
The first and only TLD to date dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community commenced General Availability in February. All LGBT community members and businesses, organisations and other entities serving the community may register for a .LGBT domain name. To date there have been close to 900 registrations.
Malian ccTLD Takes Advantage of High Prices and Registration Procedures for Malaysian ccTLD
The operator of the Malian ccTLD is now targeting Malaysia with free domain names. Freenom, which took over operating the .ml ccTLD in 2013 and has been giving away free domains as it does with .tk (Tokelau) among other ccTLDs believes Malaysia is ripe to target due to its relatively expensive .my domains and registration restrictions.
Small Changes to .NZ Notification of Roles and Responsibilities Policy
The New Zealand Domain Name Commissioner has announced that following a public consultation a small number of amendments have been approved to the Roles and Responsibilities (RAR) Policy. The amendments are additional provisions around the management of .nz domain name resellers:
Scottish Government Moves From .UK To .SCOT
The Scottish government has moved all its domain names from .gov.uk to .scot for its websites. Over 8,500 domains have been registered in the Scottish gTLD following its General Availability launch in September 2014.
.SYDNEY Launched in February
The gTLD for Australia's largest city, Sydney, launched in February and over 2,800 domains have been registered to date. Registrations in .sydney are restricted though and only businesses, government agencies and individuals within the state of New South Wales are eligible to register domains.
Welsh Government Makes The Switch To GOV.WALES
Much like .scot is proving popular with Scottish businesses, government and individuals, so are the .wales/.cymru gTLDs. And like the Scottish government, the Welsh Government has also moved its presence online to the .wales and .cymru domains. Some of the Welsh organisations already using the new gTLD are Sport Wales, Media Wales, the National Assembly for Wales and the Millennium Stadium.