New TLD process submission closed5th June 2012
On 30th May, ICANN finally closed the registration system to submit applications for new top level domains names. This was not without pain. The system originally opened in March 2012 for a period of one month. However, the system was hacked. There were (and still are) fears that hackers could access confidential information about other applicants. ICANN took the system down for inspection and repair and finally reopened it in early May. Applicants could then file their applications.
ICANN has received 1930 applications in total, much more than the expected 500, for which ICANN had adapted its approval process. This all means that applications will be examined in batches. Those who will be lucky to be in the first batch might be able to start operating in early 2013, if all goes well. At least, that is only two years behind the initial timeline. For the unfortunate that will be part of the next batches, let us hope they have enough cash-in-the bank to survive until ICANN approves their application.
The applications will be placed in batches based on a lottery type selection which ICANN describes as “kind of like a game of digital archery”. That’s right, you are betting your business and several hundreds of thousands of dollars on an online game. Fortunately, all applications for the same string, e.g. “.sport” will be processed in the same batch. ICANN says there are 230 strings in contention.
How many applications there are for “.sport” will be reavealed on 13th June. Once the list is revealed, do expect that some applicants for the same string will find synergies and eventually “merge” their applications.We here at DotSport®, will be watching closely.