The Internet is about to an experience an important change. Today, web addresses end with familiar extensions such as .com and .org. Soon, there could be hundreds or even thousands more of these domain name extensions. These domain names are called generic top level domains or gTLDs. This video, titled “Get ready for the next big thing,” explains more.
ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable, and is managing the new gTLD program.
The program aims to encourage greater domain name choice and innovation by creating a range of new names as an alternative to the 21 gTLDs currently in existence. Organizations can apply for a new gTLD specifically for their company or brand (such as .canon or .deloitte) or for almost any generic term as a gTLD (such as .music, .bank or .shop), as well as geographical gTLDs (such as .nyc or .london).
Hundreds of the world’s largest brands, as well as community-based and non-profit organizations, have begun to submit applications for a new gTLD during the three month application window that opened on January 12 and will close on April 12, 2012 (see timeline of what to expect in 2012 here.) The first new gTLDs are expected to go live on the Internet in 2013. A variety of industry sources estimate that between 1,000 and 1,500 applications will be submitted for new gTLDs in the first round this year.
Registry Data Escrow is one of the essential stakeholder protection mechanisms for gTLDs. It ensures that the data associated with registered domain names is never at risk of being lost or inaccessible, because the names are held in escrow by a trusted, neutral third party, such as Iron Mountain.
Data escrow is one of the five critical registry functions and is a requirement for all new gTLDs. It is covered in question #38 of the application, and all new gTLD applicants need to articulate that a plan is in place to escrow gTLD data.
This week, the new gTLDs will be a hot topic of discussion at the ICANN 43 meeting in Costa Rica. So, if you know all about ICANN, gTLDs and Registry Data Escrow, maybe we’ll see you in Costa Rica! If not, but if you’d like to learn more, download our free Registry Data Escrow Success kit at: www.ironmountain.com/gtld.