ICANN to reveal massive expansion of top-level domains

12 Jun 2012

Tomorrow ICANN will take the wrapping off the first new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that will expand or ‘open up’ the internet beyond the limited number of existing top-level domains, like .com, .org and .net.

In an event dubbed ‘Reveal Day’, applications by 1,900 applicants for the operation of one of the new TLDs will be revealed in London tomorrow at 12pm by ICANN.

It is understood that top “domainer” Phil Schilling, who has made a fortune from his acquisition of 320,000 domains, is understood to have applied to own 54 domains at a cost of US$60m of his own money.

According to Michele Neylon of domain registrar and hosting firm Blacknight, the announcement of the new domains is the culmination of years of work.

What to expect

“As a registrar, this is a very exciting time and we are on pins and needles waiting for the reveal. An avalanche of new TLDs will change the way we use the internet, as well as how we use search. While the big reveal still won’t tell us which TLDs will definitely make it to use, it will show us the range of possibilities and inspire future applicants.”

“While we don’t yet know the entirety of which TLDs have been applied for, we do know some will cater for specific industries, communities, languages and locations.

“We have also had a bit of a ‘sneak peak’ as to what we can expect ,considering applicants for TLDs such as .canon, .music and .nyc have been very open about their plans.

As to whether new TLDs will replace existing extensions, Neylon stresses: “This is an expansion, it is not a replacement. Existing extensions will not be affected.”

Global internet image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years