Just when you acclimated to .com, .net, .org and .edu, a slew of new generic top level domains (gTLD) are on their way. And judging by the suffix request proposals revealed at a recent Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) London workshop, the new additions could alter the way we surf the Web.
More Descriptive gTLDs On The Way
According to reports, domain name endings could become more descriptive. For example, instead of going to StephenKing.com, in a few years, you may navigate to StephenKing.author. The change is expected to further compartmentalize the Internet – a fact that is bound to bring up various censorship, privacy and civil rights issues.
A process years in the making, ICANN has worked through technical glitches associated with the process and are now accepting applications from larger Internet companies bidding to control suggested gTLD additions. To illustrate, Google is looking to take over “.lol,” “.google” and “.YouTube,” while Artemis, a data security firm, is looking to lock-down “.secure.” Nearly 2,000 proposals were submitted including .doctor, .research, .music and .bank.
Generic top-level domains for various hobby groups, nationalities and sports are also expected to be incorporated into the domain naming conventions.
When Are These Generic Top-Level Domain Changes Going To Happen?
Don’t expect a different Internet overnight. Judging from past ICANN projects and the sheer enormity of this one, the roll-out won’t occur on a public scale for another two to three years…and that is if all goes according to plan.
Officials still must deliberate over trademark issues, international hate-speech considerations, not to mention the logistics of administering additional gTLDs. Besides, law enforcement entities need time to consider and implement new procedures as it relates to national security.
That all said, expect domain dispute and procurement litigation to heat up over the next several months, as competing bidders fight to gain control of highly prized options like .web or .startup.
Should Startups Consider Bidding On One Of These New Generic Top Level Domains?
Speaking of startups, if you’re a brand-new company looking to join in on the gTLD bidding fun, you may want to slow your roll – unless, you have $200,000 lying around to spend on a proposal. (That’s right, just the proposal; you have to pay them to write a proposal; and there’s no guarantee your wish will be granted.) If a company’s proposal is approved, they will have to shell out approximately $25,000 to maintain the gTLD and commit to a 10-year contract. In laymen’s terms, let’s just say you could buy “onlinemarketing.web” through GoDaddy; instead of it costing $10 – $1000, it would cost $25,000 – and with a required 10-year commitment, it may not make sense for a startup to commit to such a hefty debt from the jump.