• The Internet is about to experience a dramatic and important change that will effect every user.
    Today, web addresses end with familiar extensions such as dot com and dot org.
    Soon there could be hundreds more of these dot extensions.
    Their called generic Top Level Domains or gTLDs.
    What do new gTLDs mean for you?
    This video will help you find out.
    In order to understand what exactly is changing and how it will effect you lets look behind the scenes at how domain names work.
    This is what is known as a generic Top Level Domain.

    Today there are only twenty two such TLDs,
    After the top level comes the second level.
    When you register a domain name you are actually creating a unique combination of a first and second level name.
    Lets say you want to register example.com
    "I'll register example.com!"
    You are the registrant and you acquire the name using a registrar accredited by ICANN.
    Registrant -- Registrar -- Registry
    The registrar checks with the registry and if the name you want is available then you get to use it.
    Note that the registry is who makes your domain name function technically.
    The registry puts your domain name in the right databases so that the rest of the Internet can find you.
    Until now, there have been millions of possible domain names on the second level but fewer than two dozen generic domain possibilities at the top level and that's what about to change.

    With ICANN's new gTLD program the Internet name space will expand.
    .brand
    .region

    Soon you could create and manage a top level domain of your own choosing.
    Why would you want to?
    First, if your organization runs its own TLD, your organization sets the rules.
    You can make your TLD as inclusive or exclusive as you want.
    For example, you can sell second level domain registrations at a price you choose or you could decide not to sell them at all.
    Maybe you issue them only to your employees.
    You could offer specialized security services or perhaps you want all the web addresses in your TLD to work in your native alphabet.
    Its up to you.
    If you represent a community or cultural preservation group a TLD might provide a rallying point where the Internet celebrates what you value.
    If you represent a government of a municipality a TLD could help your populace share views or find vital information.
    New gTLDs can be internationalized domain names (IDNs) which incorporate character sets such as Chinese, Arabic, Cyrillic or any non western alphabet.
    That one fact opens the Internet to masses of new users.

    Businesses might also be interested in new gTLDs.
    If you make your brand a TLD (http://retail.brand) customers might feel more confident that sites under your domain are really you.
    A dot Brand TLD can mean better brand control, new investment opportunities and a chance to show your leadership in Internet technology.
    Just as no one predicted a dot com boom no one can predict all the innovative ways new gTLDs will be used.
    Who know what the next big dot thing will be.

    Challenges
    I've talked about why you would want your own gTLD.
    Why wouldn't you want one?
    First to operate a TLD is to be in charge of dot something.
    You are not merely registering a second level domain.
    You are a organization running a registry responsible for a piece of Internet infrastructure.
    Second, operating a TLD takes a substantial investment.
    Just to apply for a generic Top Level Domain cost one hundred and eighty five thousand US dollars or more.
    You need to be well capitalized to start and operate a TLD business.
    Third, this process is not fast.
    Applications will go through an evaluation that takes several months.
    A new gTLD won't be available for Internet user until almost a year after applications are first accepted.
    Finally, operating a registry requires skill in a lot of business realms including technical, legal, financial and marketing.
    To investigate the opportunities new gTLDs offer you would be wise to get help from experts familiar with the domain name industry.

    The application process.
    The process for applying for a new GTLD is not trivial.
    Your proposed new Top Level Domain must pass through several checkpoints and so must your organization.

    The Internet is changing!
    ICANN expects hundreds of applications for an incredible variety of new Top Level Domains that will introduce competition, innovation and choice.

    Applications accepted 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.