The online community is a buzz with the recent application of new TLD’S expected to hit the market sometime in the last quarter of 2013. In 2011 ICANN, THE BODY THAT governs the registration of domain announced the decision to allow businesses around the world to register their won top level domains. With the announcement it is expected that a huge number of businesses will apply to have brand or even location names as their top level domain. We may get used to such domains as .HSBC or even location based domains such as .CALIFORNIA or something of the sort.
Although they still have to go through a few steps before going live, it’s pretty much a done deal for the first for as they are now in the initial testing process to make sure that they will not have any hiccups once launched but many others still have quite a long way to go. They have to go through the application process, priority draw for the applications, objection period, to go through an initial evaluation and at least six other steps before they go live.
After going live within 30 days, the recognized trademarks can claim their domains before they are available to the general public and should there be any disputes, they will be solved by the domains in dispute going to auction and the highest bidder getting the domain. 60 days after launch the general public may apply in what is known as a Landrush. During this time, the domains are still quite expensive and the disputed ones go to auction just like the first stage. After the trademarks have gotten their domains and the Landrush phase is over, the rest of the public can now apply for whatever domain they want. At this point the domains are handed out on a first come first served basis but there may be provisions for early registration even at this stage for new TLD’s.
It is expected that the new top level domains will establish the identity of a lot of businesses who now don’t have to use a .com but can instead use .theircompany name for example. The completion for business online is expected to spike as top level brands will now be instantly recognizable by their domain. Giving businesses independence not recently experienced.
The benefits for the consumers are also extensive. The new TLD’s will enhance consumer confidence in the goods they buy, further growing the e-commerce industry that over the years has been received with a lot of skepticism thanks to scamming, fraud and counterfeiting. But when a particular business has its own recognizable domain, then the consumers can be sure that the products they buy are the genuine thing and not a fake. This works well when consumers are buying higher end brands and pharmaceuticals.
The new regulations will also allow for domains and web addresses that may not have been possible before such as those in Chinese characters or Japanese characters further opening up the web with infinite possibilities.