Frequently asked questions about our new TLDs
The Internet is now going through a major change. The web indeed grows with thousands of new Internet extensions, also called generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). In June 2011, the ICANN board has indeed decided to significantly increase the number of generic TLDs (there were 22 domain extensions at that moment). Since January 2012, trademark owners, business organisations, government agencies and other institutions were given the possibility to submit an application for a new domain extension. In June 2012, more than 2,000 applications were submitted for a new TLD.
So, the traditional TLDs like .com, .net, .biz and .info will be joined by new extensions such as .vlaanderen, .shop and .green. As an entrepreneur, you will be able to choose among thousands of new combinations, given that everything before the dot (.) sign will be available.
What is a sunrise period?
Trademark owners have the right to claim a domain name with a new extension before it becomes available to the public. This must be done during the mandatory sunrise period (of at least 30 days). So, during this period, Apple has the right to register apple.shop before everyone else. If trademark owners do not use this privilege, the domain name becomes available for registration by Internet uses across the globe.
Are you a trademark owner? Before the Sunrise period begins, you need to register via the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). Otherwise, you will not be allowed to claim domain names as a trademark owner during the Sunrise period! Combell is an official agent and handles the entire registration and follow-up process. Find out more information about the Trademark Clearinghouse here or contact our domains specialists for further information.
What is the GoLive period (also called landrush or general availability period)?
The GoLive period (also called landrush or general availability period) is the period following the sunrise. This is a period after which the remaining domain names will be available for registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Obviously, certain restrictions will still apply to some domain extensions: .bank domain names, for instance, will only be available for registration by international financial institutions. You will find all the requirements and restrictions per extension on our website.
What or who is ICANN?
ICANN is the organisation that manages the root servers of the Internet. ICANN stands for "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers" and is headquartered in the United States. ICANN is also responsible for assigning the new extensions to the various applicants and checking if the technical infrastructure of the domain extension managers meets all the requirements.
Why have these extensions been created?
ICANN's purpose is to offer more possibilities to Internet users. With the new extensions, they also hope to increase the use of the Internet in less developed countries. In addition, there are also many domain extensions in non-ASCII characters, like Chinese or Cyrillic. The purpose of this is to encourage the use of the Internet in growth markets. ICANN also attaches much importance to communities. ICANN wants to gather people together (on a worldwide basis) who share a certain culture, sport, interest or ideology.
Some extensions are marked "open registration": what does it mean?
This means that no restrictions apply to the registration of the domain name. So, you can e.g. perfectly register a .amsterdam domain name even if you live in Paris. We try to provide this information as clearly as possible on our website and let you know when updates are available.
Can anyone register a new extension?
This depends from the restrictions that apply to the domain name extension in question. On our pre-registration website, you will be able to clearly see if any restrictions apply to the registration of a domain extension.
What is the purpose of these new domain name extensions?
Due to the limited number of extensions, the Internet is gradually becoming saturated. It is now pretty much impossible to find a short and interesting .com domain name available for registration. With the launch of the new extensions, millions of new domain name combinations have been created. In addition, there are now many local extensions, such as .paris, .london or .amsterdam, or sector extensions, like .law, .management or .autos, which will probably better reflect your core business than a .be or .com domain name.
Which new top-level domain names will be available?
About 2,000 extensions have been requested. Among those are many duplicate applications as well as applications for trademark extensions like .nike or .google. But these companies will use their domain names for themselves and will not allow public registration.
On the Combell website, you will find the most comprehensive overview of all available extensions, with no or little restrictions. This concerns about 800 top-level domain names that will be available for public registration.
When will the first new domain extension be available?
The launch date of the new TLDs has been postponed a couple of times already. The first domain names with new extensions are expected to be launched in the course of 2014.
Why do I have to pre-register now and how much does it cost?
Starting now, Combell gives you the possibility to express your interest by pre-registering domain names with new extensions, which you can do for free and without any obligation.
Currently, Combell cannot guarantee that the registration will be successful. The exact launch date of many domain names has not been announced yet and there is always a possibility that someone else has a vested right (e.g. as a trademark owner or government agency) to claim the domain name in question.
However, your pre-registration request allows us to transfer your domain name application as soon as more concrete information is available. And when we have further details about prices, we will first contact you to request your approval.
How much does a domain name with a new extension cost?
Prices have not been announced yet. As soon as we have more information, we will let you know, provided you have submitted a pre-registration request. Once we have more details about prices, you will need to confirm the pre-registration.