Unlimited gTLDs?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently approved the future use of unlimited gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domain’s).  There are a total of 22 gTLDs. These domains range from: .com to .org to .net, but starting in January 2012, that list of 22 domains, will soon expand to a limitless number! Anything you can dream up will be able to be a gTLD.

So, what do unlimited gTLDs for businesses with websites online? It means that things may get a bit interesting and expensive… The top advice that owners of businesses with an online presence hear is protect your domain(s) from possible cyber squatters.  So, if you own yourbusiness.com, you should probably own yourbusiness.net, .org, .biz, and any common misspellings of your domain name, and every possible variation (within your budget) so your customers don’t mistype your web address and end up at a website that is not owned by you.  So, with limitless TLDs when would you know to stop buying domains? Until you go broke, I guess….

Which brings me to my next point, Will everyone be able to register any top level domain?

Yes, but at a very, very HIGH price.  The application fee for the domain will be $185,000 and the yearly domain fee will be $25,000.  For major online players, that is chump change, but for small online businesses, that is an astronomical price for a domain.  So, will everyone have a custom domain? No, but just knowing that you can is pretty cool.

  1. wijit anusasananan

    From a basic economics point of view, expanding supply especially to unlimited should bring price down to zero. I agree that without price barrier, one who wants to block a domain name would be able to do so by buying the name plus as many similar names as he can. Businesses tend to name themselves to be easy to pronounce and remember. Businesses, especially the rich ones, are countable and publicly known so they may be the first target of such bandits. Fortunately, those kinds of business tend to have their domain names registered already. What I want to say is the said price and fees seem to be too high. Congratulation to NO-IP and similar online businesses.

  2. It’s too bad it will be an “astronomical price” for some, especially for me. I was looking forward to having a custom domain not restricted by .com, .net, and the like. I was actually looking forward to maybe a .labs for a personal site. Guess I’ll have to wait for the price to dramatically drop and hope no one has taken the domain I plan to own by the time it gets to that point.

  3. Marcus

    This is old news, this was announced months ago.

    I actually cannot believe that this got approved. I can see many phishing sites being setup on these new tld’s (domains such as paypal.ccm). This is a very bad move by ICANN and a very bad move for the internet. I would also expect this to decrease the value of domains signficantly as somebody could just register an already registered domain on a slightly different tld.

    The only way for small busienss owners to protect their domains from beign registered on smallers tld’s would be to trademark the domain. Once they have a trademark for their domain they can then file complaints against people who register their domain on a different tld.

  4. Wes

    @Marcus I think the trademark enforcement would only work if the person creating the offending domain resided or operated in the same country (or countries) the trademark is registered – probably still not enough to offer any real protection

  5. SJohn

    Bad idea. Why would anybody, even a big company, want to own their own domain? Certainly any company that used their company name as a domain would want to police that domain as there would be legal issues should illegal material be found on a site under that domain. What exists right now is generic enough. Even so, most countries have their own domains already. It doesnt make sense.

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