June 2, 2012
ICANN's program to expand the number of generic Top Level Domains (gTLD's) has seen some curious applications submitted.
Google has announced the company has submitted a number of applications for new TLDs; including .google, .youtube, .docs and .lol; the latter for its "interesting and creative potential".
Canada's Momentous Corp has announced it put in bids to operate .design, .style, .rip and .sucks. According to the company, DotSUCKS will be a domain space intended to "provide a medium for sharing opinions and encouraging debate".
Under ICANN's program, applications for new domain extensions had to be submitted by May 30th, 2012. An estimated 1,900 applications for new domain name extensions have been filed. A full list is expected to be published on June 13 - and more "interesting" extensions are expected to be revealed.
Beginning in July, evaluation panels will conduct reviews that make up the Initial Evaluation of all applications. In December/January, ICANN will post the outcome of the Initial Evaluation. Applicants passing this stage will then be eligible to proceed to pre-delegation. ICANN says some new gTLDs will have fully completed the process and be ready for delegation in early 2013.
Under the gTLD initiative, applicants must part with USD$185,000 in order to secure an extension. Only established corporations, organisations, or institutions "in good standing" were permitted to submit applications.
The new gTLD program has been a highly controversial project, with major opposition coming from some corners expressing concerns about additional cost and harm to brand owners, confusion for consumers and lack of stakeholder consensus.
Aside from the general opposition, the program has been fraught with glitches and delays. ICANN's online application system was taken offline in April; reportedly due to security concerns, and remained unavailable for weeks - not re-opening until May 21.
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