In only a few days, ICANN (the body that regulates Internet naming conventions) will be opening its doors to applications to run the next generation of domain extensions (the new form of .com, .net, .org).
This momentous occasion is set to revolutionize the nature of the Internet domain name space forever. No longer will companies, which have the foresight to apply, be constantly battling cybersquatters for their brand name, acquiring domain names already registered at hugely inflated prices in an over populated market and spending way more than necessary chasing brand misuse from online counterfeiters, phishers and fakers.
It's simple, from Thursday 12 January 2012 companies, charities and communities can apply to own and operate almost any characters after the “dot”…almost anything such as .dog, .karachi, .realestate, .missiontomars.
It’s a fantastic idea, much needed and one which will change the Internet for the better for decades to come. It can provide legitimate companies and interest groups with:
- ownership and control of a key piece of internet infrastructure under which to execute online brand strategy with no dependence upon third parties
- security and protection to suit the requirements of the entity controlling the extension and preventing any third parties registering domain names under the extension
- increased visibility on the internet and the capability to create networks of interest leveraging brand equity with suppliers, resellers and partner networks
Such a fundamental change in the Internet namespace comes with a hefty price tag. The application fee alone, set by ICANN, is $185,000 and the effort and time involved in preparing and defending the application through to a successful conclusion should not be underestimated. The successful applicant will be required to operate its internet extension for a minimum of 10 years. However, when assessing the costs in the light of the benefits gained by the applicant over the next 10 years the application fee is a small price to pay.
This application window is open between Thursday 12 January 2012 and Thursday 12 April 2012; depending upon the number of applications received, another application window may not open up for several years - if at all! Frankly, if you miss the boat now, there is no telling when the next boat will show up and, while you are waiting for it, your rivals could be striking while the iron is hot in the new Internet universe.
Is it too late?
No! But only just. If you cannot commit to starting the application process by Tuesday 31 January 2012, you will have likely missed the opportunity to draft a successful application in time.
“Companies interested in applying but have not yet acted are treading a fine line,” says Stéphane Van Gelder, head of domain operations at NetNames and chair of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organisation. “It’s not too late to act but the reality is that the clock is ticking and there are only a few weeks left before there will not be sufficient time to create and submit an application”.
Who can help?
There are plenty of people offering to write an application for you, but consider this - only a very few of them have the pedigree, expertise, financial resources and networks necessary not only to create a successful application but also operate your Internet Naming Infrastructure for the next 10 years.
If you are considering applying for a new gTLD extension but have not yet started compiling an application, don’t panic, simply contact NetNames to discuss the options from impartial and experienced domain name experts or go to www.gtld.com for more information. NetNames will be happy to provide you with expert advice to help you make the right decision about new gTLDs.
NetNames (www.netnames.com) is part of Group NBT Ltd (www.groupnbt.com). Through its industry leading corporate domain name management, online brand protection, online security, anti-piracy and acquisitions services, the company is responsible for managing and protecting online brands for medium to large organizations, from all types of industries, across the globe.
Following the acquisition of Ascio Technologies and Envisional in 2007, and INDOM (France) in 2010, NetNames has become one of the world’s largest corporate domain name management and online brand protection specialist.
The company is headquartered in London with offices in New York, Cambridge (UK), Copenhagen (Denmark), Munich (Germany), Nice (France), Oslo (Norway), Paris (France), Stockholm (Sweden) and Zurich (Switzerland).