What does ICANN’s New gTLD program mean?

Over the past weeks, the internet has been abuzz with news about ICANN introducing new gTLDs. Wondering who is ICANN and what a gTLD is? Our blog post today will tell you the meaning and relevance of having new gTLDs.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit private organization which was conceptualized to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks.  ICANN is responsible for the coordination of the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers and, in particular, ensuring its stable and secure operation.

Let’s get you acquainted with what a gTLD is.

A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use in the Domain Name System of the Internet. gTLD stands for generic top-level domain and is an Internet extension such as .COM, .NET or .ORG. Right now there are roughly two dozen gTLDs, but soon, there could be hundreds like .music, .hotel, .doctor, essentially .anything!

So why did ICANN expand the Top-Level?

• Remove existing limitations to ASCII gTLDs which do not reflect growing Internet reality and needs

• Create platform to innovation in the industry and Internet

• Open doors to increase choice and competition in the market place

• Opportunity for investment

• Upgrade systems/applications to accept new TLDs

• Increase of online cultural, linguistic, geographic communities

ICANN has received a staggering 2000+ applications and these are expected to be revealed on 13th June. Some of the big names that have applied are Google, Radix (Directi), Godaddy and Verisign. Applicants for the new gTLDs were from diverse backgrounds. Right from The city of Budapest that applied for its own Top-Level Domain, the .BUDAPEST to Google who applied for .LOL. GoDaddy applied for .HOME and .CASA while CloudName applied for .CLOUD.

.STLYE, .RIP and .SUCKS were three other gTLDs which were making news last week. Other quirky names included .beer, .love, .luxe and .pizza. Ever thought of how www.dominos.pizza or www.knowyourfuture.love would sound. No more .COMs. Personalised domain names for everything you can think of!

The Indian scenario

Not to be left behind, many Indian Corporations too have applied for new gTLDs.

· The Tata group has applied for the .TATA Top-Level Domain

· Mahindra & Mahindra has applied for .MAHINDRA

· The State Bank of India has applied for .SBI, .STATEBANK

· Reliance Industries has applied for the .RELIANCE new gTLD.

Based out of Dubai, Directi’s team – Radixapplied for 31 new gTLDs making them possibly the largest applicant in Asia.

There are definitely some very interesting times ahead for the Internet. This move by ICANN might change the way we look at the web!