ICANN’s Proposed Options for Launching the Second Round of “New” gTLDs”
As a result of ICANN’s initiative, new gTLDs were created in 2011. These new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have become an integral part of the Internet landscape since then. gTLDs are internet domain extensions that form the last part of a web address, such as .com or .net. With ICANN’s initiative, new gTLDs have been created, such as .app,. blog, .shop, and more. As a result of the construction of the extensions, innovation is promoted, more competition between companies is encouraged, and market share is increased.
As an example, SNCF was one of the pioneers with the <.sncf>. The .sncf domain is used in email addresses, website URLs, and other digital marketing materials, making it easier for customers to identify SNCF’s digital presence. This round of newly created gTLDs marked the appearance of the following extension: <.marque>, which allows companies whose applications are filed successfully to have a domain name extension identical to their trademark. This cycle was also marked by the <.xyz>, which resulted in major success as it had over 6.7 million domain names in 2016. The <.xyz>, however, dropped to nearly 5 million domain names in July 2022. This drop in numbers is an example of the unpredictable nature of gTLDs, as the <.xyz> was one of the most successful of the 2014 gTLD round.
On December 12, 2022, ICANN published a comprehensive report proposing two scenarios for launching the second round of “additional gTLDs.” The report includes estimates of the financial and technical requirements for each alternative. The first is five-year development that results in a single application phase. The second option is an 18-month development period, followed by several application cycles every four years. The second proposal was the most promising to the community. This scenario is intended to reduce upfront costs and provide applicants with more time to prepare their applications. Additionally, the business cycle design includes trials and modifications to ensure positive results. While ICANN’s reporting scenarios involve much trial and error, continuously improving the program models will allow newly launched TLDs to benefit businesses and the economy even further.