New gTLDs: 1293 applications passed in initial evaluation
104 new gTLDs passed the initial evaluation, including .GMAIL, and .WOW, which brought to 1,400 the number of processed applications, of which 1,293 have been approved. But what about the gTLDs for which multiple applications have been submitted?
The project of creating new gTLDs continues to develop – slowly but surely. Of the 1,900 applications that were submitted, 1400 have now been processed during “Initial Evaluation”, a first examination intended to make sure the applicant actually has sufficient financial and technical resources to operate the new generic Top-Level Domain. After that evaluation, other phases will follow, such as the signing of the agreements with ICANN, after which the new gTLD can be launched – a procedure that requires a few more months.
A priority number was randomly assigned to every application, and it is this number that determines the order in which applications are processed. The new .GENT gTLD, for instance, for which Combell submitted an application and that has the priority number 1021, was approved a couple of weeks ago. .VLAANDEREN and .BRUSSELS, the two Belgian geographic gTLDs for which DNS.BE submitted an application and that have priority numbers 1416 and 1518, will soon be processed.
The 104 applications that were reviewed last week during the IE include a few attractive general extensions such as .BABY, .KIDS and .COOL, in addition to trademarks like .GMAIL, .CANON and .VOLKSWAGEN. But for some of these attractive TLDs, there is a problem: different companies and organisations have submitted an application for these new gTLDs. So what now? Well, if one of the applicants can prove that he acts on behalf of a community and that he wants to operate the gTLD for this community, like e.g. .BANK for the banking sector, this applicant will take priority over the others. The same goes for extensions that represent a geographical region. But in all other cases involving multiple applicants, an auction will determine the operator of the new gTLD.
Applicants can choose between an auction organised by ICANN or a private auction. ICANN itself is against private auctions, but many worry that the auctions organised by ICANN will cause delays. A private auction would be a more practical solution – provided that all applicants for a certain gTLD agree on this method. Obviously, the great benefit is that this method is faster – one does not have to wait until all applications have been approved during IE to start the auction. But it is a disadvantage at the same time: when the applicant with the winning bid does not pass the Initial Evaluation, the claim for the new gTLD can be lost. By the way, there is another benefit to private auctions: with auctions organised by ICANN, all profits go to ICANN itself, but with private auctions, the competing companies can share some of the profit made in the auction.
So, for the time being, no one knows who the final operator of a gTLD with an attractive extension such as .BABY, .COOL, .ONLINE, .SITE, etc. will be. But, unless the final operator wants to keep the domain for its own company and affiliated partners, it makes no big difference to you.
All you need to do is pre-register your new gTLD soon, and obviously, you will be able to do that via Combell. We will keep you updated as soon as this is possible, but make sure you keep an eye on our website!