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August 27, 2012

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Big Reveal Bares All - Next Step, the Big Wait

ICANN's "Big Reveal" was held this morning (U.S. time) in London where the domain name system's oversight body released the names of those who have applied to run new TLDs as well as the extensions they want to run (you can see every single one of those 1,930 applications here, including where the applicant is from and what their contact email address is). Of course a lot of applicants want to run the same TLD, so 751 of those applications were for 230 extensions that at least one other party is also 

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going after. That means the highest number of new TLDs that could eventually be approved from this round is 1,409.

The most sought after new TLD was .app with 13 applicants wanting to run that extension (interestingly enough, Apple was not one of them). Three other extensions drew an applicant pool in double digits - .inc and .home are desired by 11 each and .art is wanted by 10 applicants (Michael Berkens compiled a list of all of the most contested new TLDs here).

ICANN hopes that the multiple parties who applied for a single extension will get together on their own to produce a single entity to claim the TLD. If that does not work rights to run the extension will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, likely driving the price into the millions (it cost $185,000 each just to apply to run a new TLD).

Now that we know who the players are and what they are playing for we moved on to the next phase, which could be called the Big Wait. It is going to take a long time for ICANN to review 

the applications (none have been approved at this point) and for the issues surrounding the contested ones to be worked out. Expect it to be 2013 or possibly even 2014 before you see the first new TLDs live on the Internet. 

Another big issue is digital archery - ICANN's plan to process the applications in batches of no more than 500 at a time. Those who do not make it into the first batch may be waiting a year or two before the next batch will even begin the process. Obviously, that makes digital archery a high stakes game that has become very contentious among applicants who feel they may not get a fair shot at being included in the first batch. All have put a lot of money at risk and need to get their extensions to market as soon as possible to start recouping their investments. 

So while today's Big Reveal produced a boat load of interesting information, there are still a lot of  innings left to be played in the new TLD game before anyone can start registering domains in the new strings.

(Posted June 13, 2012)  

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