ICANN Overwhelmingly Approves New gTLD Program

The ICANN Board just voted to approve the new gTLD program to a standing ovation to those in attendance.

The vote took place as promised on the first day of the ICANN Singapore meeting.

The vote now allows the process under which hundreds of new domain name extensions can be applied for.

Applications for the first round will open on January 12, 2012 and will close on April 12, 2012.

According to a chart posted in the Board meeting room, it looks like no new gTLD’s will be operational until November 2013.

Only one Board member voted against the proposal and one voted to abstain.

ICANN has previously placed a limit of no more than 1,000 domain name extensions in any round.

The only remaining major open issue for the ICANN Board on the new gTLD program is the registrar-registry cross ownership rules.

Based on objection of the GAC as well as the United States Department of Justice, it appears that ICANN is going to have to put back into place some restrictions on cross ownership.

But that discussion is going to be put off for another day.

In the meantime the new gTLD program is a reality and the domain name world has changed forever.

Anyway you slice it there will be hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into the domain name space.

No doubt you will see thousands of stories from all over the world in every major publication on domains.

Yes the domain name world has changed forever.






  1. says

    Well it now it was approved by ICANN, did they open Pandora’s Box?

    My consolidated thoughts on the new gTLD program –

    I think there are A LOT of legal hurdles and challenges to still be cleared.

    1.) If multiple parties want the same extension, what happens?

    Do they go to auction? What about BS TMs already for new extensions that don’t exist?

    Should the high bidder for a generic extension be able to block any competitors from owning a domain.

    For instance Sony is the high bidder for .MUSIC, should they be able to block any competitor from using it?

    2.) What about confusingly similar extensions, typo extensions, etc.

    What happens if someone wants .CON, a great .COM typo extension?

    What if someone wants an extension that is confusingly similar to a current ccTLD?

    Should .USA be allowed to exist when .US already exists and is the ccTLD of the United States? I think that whole extension would be “confusingly similar”.

    As far as I was aware, one of the foundations of this program was to not introduce any extensions that are confusingly similar to current extensions.

    3.) Should potentially offensive extensions like .porn, .sex, .gay, etc be able to legally extort brand owners for payment like .XXX has done?

    If people think this is a “fresh start” they are dreaming.

    You really think the people putting out millions to obtain and promote a registry are just going to hand out the best keywords for free or cheap? Yeah right.

    This program needs to be rolled out in a very measured manner. Starting with less debated extensions.

    There needs to be a process for how generic keyword extensions are handled and policies regarding them. IMO a company should not be able to acquire a generic keyword gTLD, and use it to block competition.

    The process needs to be transparent and well regulated.


  2. .COM Dude says

    Did ya catch that they won’t go into effect until 2014??????

    Haaaaaah!!!!!!!! Well, if .COM hasn’t yet solidified it’s lead, that should give it sufficient time to do so, eh?

    Seems clear to me that .COM is the real winner here.

  3. says

    ““Some claim that icann stands to profit from this new program. this is not true. the program will be run on a cost recovery basis as designed by you, the community, and as approved by the icann board. if approved by the icann board.

    As CEO, I have neither advocated nor opposed this program. now that this phase has been completed, i will be raising my hand to vote”

    So who then is the $185,000 application fee being paid to? Is it not being paid to ICANN?

    $185,000 x 1000 possible extensions. Do the math.

    How exactly does ICANN not stand to profit from this program?


  4. MHB says

    The $185K gets paid to ICANN but they say its a cost recovery fee which is revenue neutral to ICANN but of course no one believes that.

    Big money for ICANN plus ICANN per domain registration fees will be much higher for new gTLD’s not to mention the tens or hundreds of millions that ICANN will get from winning auction bidders for contested extensions.

  5. Snoopy says


    They will of course profit. Registrars will profit and perhaps most registries will profit. Overall domainers will lose in my view. They are the opposite side of the equation. There will be a wealth transfer from domainers to the three parties previously mentioned.

    The key thing in my mind is why shouldn’t 1000s of new extension be brought in? Ok there is all sorts of allocation issues to be sorted out and these extension probably aren’t “needed” but at the heart of it, what is really wrong with .anything?

  6. says

    @ MHB

    So ICANN is going to take $185,00 for 500-1000 extensions and somehow be “revenue neutral”. Does anyone really believe that? Honestly.

    Not to mention the auction feeds for contested extensions + ICANN fees.

    Since this is supposed to be “revenue netural” is ICANN prepared to donate any “profits” to charity?

    That statement is honestly about the biggest load of BS I have seen in quite awhile.


  7. pt says

    “”Did ya catch that they won’t go into effect until 2014??????

    Haaaaaah!!!!!!!! Well, if .COM hasn’t yet solidified it’s lead, that should give it sufficient time to do so, eh?

    Seems clear to me that .COM is the real winner here.””

    I couldn’t agree more, in all seriousness. They won’t be released for 2 + years, there will be hundreds/thousands of them, they will be in all DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, run by all different people. Basically, .COM just became even MORE IMPORTANT than ever if you plan on targeting anyone beyond a local audience.

    But congrats to the “Right of the dot” people and ICANN – at least someone will benefit financially in the end.

  8. investor says

    @MHB- you should apply for one and add to your powerhouse???

    there will be a few winners probably but will say a good portion of them will fail imo.

    also the values in the .com just increased in value imo

    will this be the record breaking comment section here?

  9. says

    @ emma

    “no more the business of speculating in domain names”

    If anything it will be worse with a bunch of newbies wasting money, and opportunities for shady backroom deals.


  10. MrEd says

    I think you are right in that this gTLD nonsense will prove to be a big .fail (which I wholeheartedly agree!)

    I agree that .COM domains will need to go up more in value. Classic supply and demand curve at work here.

  11. Now Hiing Domain Consultants says

    By making the new tld’s go into effect, they effectively put a lot of consultants back on the unemployment line.

    What are they supposed to do for the next two and a half years? And that’s assuming the timeline remains intact (no way in hell!). It took six years just to get today’s vote to go through.

    Every day that goes by is a nail in the gTLD’s coffin as .COM gets more and more and more (and more) solidified by large companies using it on a daily basis.

  12. Bad Vote says

    @ Brad,

    Yes, it was Pandora’s Box. It should never have been opened. Gonna be a lawyer’s dream.

    It is obvious that it will end up being a commercial .dud, but they say that fools and their money are soon parted so we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll keep buying .com and suggest you do the same.

  13. says

    The new gTLDs are going to create a lot of new opportunities for people around the World, but there are a few issues that still need to be addressed and resolved. There is a lot more money involved in this new gTLD program than meets the eyes. The majority of the money that ICANN is going to make is going to come from the bidding wars that are going to take place amongst the big companies that are after the same TLD. Supposedly ICANN only need 40 million dollars to recover their cost, so after that maybe they should drop the application fee to like 5 or 10k .

    As far as second level registrations on these new TLDs it is still unknown how ICANN is going to handle the top 1000 generic keyword TLDs that represent a whole Industry such as .Loan or .Home , if these are handed over to just a few companies (which will be the ultimate gift to any company in those markets) then there is a good chance that those generic keyword TLDs will be kept closed to public registration and will be wild carded so that all the traffic to those TLDs will go only to certain websites.

    As I have said before I believe that the generic keyword TLDs that represent a whole Industry should not be given to any one entity as it will create more monopolies in the future. It might be best to start with TLDs that are a clear cut such as .nyc or .google and perhaps do some more studies as to what to do with the generic keyword TLDs such as .Loan or .Home , in my opinion these top generic TLDs should be run by a nonprofit organization on behalf of all the people for the benefit of the whole Global Internet community.

  14. emma says

    The end of the reign of Rick Schwartz, Rick Latona, Mike man, just to name few. Liberalization of any product or service bring competition and therefore the price down. Good job ICANN

  15. says

    “The end of the reign of Rick Schwartz, Rick Latona, Mike man, just to name few. Liberalization of any product or service bring competition and therefore the price down. Good job ICANN”

    Well, .COM is and will be the prime real estate on the beach.

    Creating a bunch of suburbs (new extensions) does not effect the value of prime real estate.

    The Big 3 and respected ccTLD will continue to do fine.


  16. says

    I think it’s all very confusing…more gTLD in market….more confusing in trademarks and business.

    Say one famous brand COCACOLA, the company needs to buy so many extensions to secure branding.









    and etc…

    How confusing it is…














    This will make .COM the real KING…

  17. Greg says

    Revenue neutral for ICANN

    But a windfall for all those working for, consulting to and involved with ICANN

  18. Snoopy says

    “I think you are right in that this gTLD nonsense will prove to be a big .fail (which I wholeheartedly agree!)

    I agree that .COM domains will need to go up more in value. Classic supply and demand curve at work here.”


    Mr Ed.,

    How could “more supply” be good for .com values? I think the effect on .com will be small but I don’t for a minute think it will be positive. Much larger effect for alternative extensions in my view, .us, .tv, .net, .info, .cc etc.

  19. says

    I am loving this every minute…do you?

    Everyday this business brings more BSness and it is so exciting to see what going to happen next.- but we all agree, dot com is KING and will always be king and his status is more validated now.

    Long live dot COM long live dot COM

  20. says

    My F***ing GOD ASS !!!

    .com is now officially dead

    The new age of right of dot is here and your new KING is drum roll


    By the way, Just Sold

    ELV.CO for $500

  21. says


    you are a f***ing idiot

    .com will be washed up in a sea of new right of dot

    people will realize that the left of the dot varies

    and now will realize that the right of the dot varies just as much.

    The only thing that will be super premium is being short and meaningful

    both assets which


    excels in.

    Long live your new KING


    everyone bows and will now must pay homage.

  22. Philip says

    Not seen the detail regarding the trademark issues. ICCAN is not Pontius Pilate. Were National /International = USPTO part of the consultation board? if the Gov prints bad $ notes are they legal tender if not withdrawn? Advise your children to become attorneys, full employment guaranteed.
    dot whatever I do not care. The brand credibility factor alone of the dot com or cc is the only edge I need.

  23. says

    Well, I hope the registery is listening and will help us all to retain our .CO s and give us a price break similar to what they are doing with new registrations.

    Plus I am sure there will be price reductions for bulk renewals.

    As .CO gains the same respect and popularity as .com, the price will be set to compete with the .com s.

  24. MHB says


    So the new gTLD story is the biggest story of the day around the world, you have had your say as it relates to .CO but that’s enough on that, I’m not going to let this post turn into a .Co rant and rave

  25. ok says

    we will need 2.5 yrs to fit in all the conferences to talk about the incredible “complexity” of this “sweeping change”.

    and to meet all the consultants who can help us navigate this “maze” of “complexity”. cha-ching!

    and the icann tour will keep circunavigating the globe, chased by the gac and other stakeholders. more icann meetings! cha-ching!

    but… at the rate we’re going with the digitised IP and censorship issues, the centralised dns model may not even survive 2.5 yrs.

    there are alternatives. all users need is a reason to switch gears.

  26. John Berryhill says


    Most of your questions are answered in the New TLD Applicant Guidebook.

    In brief, competing applicants will go to auction. However, there are provisions for “community” TLD’s and generic TLD’s, for which applicants who can demonstrate community support can score higher and avoid an auction (e.g. if the City of New York supports a community .nyc application, they beat an open .nyc application)

    Confusing similarity with an existing TLD is a disqualification. ICANN has released a draft “similarity scoring” tool.

    Trademarks are subject to a “use” requirement. “Paper trademark registrations” which do not represent a brand substantially used in connection with actual goods/services, do not qualify. ICANN has at least finally figured out those games.

    Finally, on names which raise issues of “morality and public order”, there will be an opportunity for the Government Advisory Committee and/or constituent governments to provide non-binding “advice” on offensive names. IMHO, nobody is going to drop $185K on an application for something like “.god”, which is likely to be universally recognized as contentious.

    It is a complete unknown how many applications there might be. However, ICANN has implied that there will be a hard limit of no more than a few hundred per year. There is utterly nothing I have found which suggests how those would be queued. So, if there are, say 2,000 applications, 800 approvals, and a rollout threshold of 200 per year, one might imagine that “who gets to be first in line” would be a touchy subject.

  27. says

    @ MHB

    Thanks for that statement. I would like to keep the thread on topic.

    I think everyone has grown tired of Robert’s thread hijacking.


  28. says


    What the hell !! Now you want to censor what people can say and discuss.

    That’s a hell of a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line ? heh

    In any event, this is a HELL of a story for imagination and creativity.


    I have such good ideas for my new domain names. How about James.Seattle ? or James.NY or James.NYC

    .com value has just dropped by 50% today.

  29. says

    @ John

    Thanks for answering those questions. My only issue is that answers in a book don’t always apply to real world issues.

    I think there are going to be some major legal issues with the awarding and usage of generic keyword extensions.

    Another major issue is confusingly similar extensions.

    .CON should not be able to exit, or any other obvious squatting extensions.

    .USA should not be able to exists where there is already a .US ccTLD.

    I think there is a way this could be implemented fairly, but I have no faith in ICANN.


  30. says

    You know, one thing you must consider is that there are a finite money that people have when it comes to buying domain names.

    Therefore, if I and others are buying other extension domain names, then naturally I and others will be buying less .com names.

    And through this logic and proof, tells me and you that .com value will drop considerably at least 50% today.

    I feel sorry for that guy that has 270,000 .com domains. His site is like asking $17457 for rocketbottle.com

    who is going to pay that kind of price when they can get rocketbottle.nyc for $10.

  31. says

    @ Robert

    “You know, one thing you must consider is that there are a finite money that people have when it comes to buying domain names.

    Therefore, if I and others are buying other extension domain names, then naturally I and others will be buying less .com names.”

    New extensions bring in new investors and new money. That doesn’t mean these people would have invested in .COM

    Plenty of new investors came in with .MOBI, lost a fortune, and left. It happens with virtually every new extension.

    .COM is like premium land on the beach. Building a bunch of marginal suburbs (new extensions) does not lower that value and appeal.


  32. says

    @ Robert

    “I feel sorry for that guy that has 270,000 .com domains. His site is like asking $17457 for rocketbottle.com”

    Yeah, and I sorry for Michael Berkens. He only owns tens of thousands of premium .COM domains. LOL


  33. Snoopy says

    .com value has just dropped by 50% today.


    The vote was expected to be passed, so why would that be the case?

  34. hey says

    robert –

    is it possible that you believe there are not any more reg fee opportunities in .com? if you do, you are among many, many other people who believe the same. but i think this is a mistaken belief. i’ve seen this so many times by people online. lashing out because they believe “all the good names are taken”. they never present any solid evidence, and rarely even anecdotes, to support their assertion. it is simply not true. i’m not sure if that’s your belief. but if it is, you need to get rid of that thinking. there are opportunities. but if you think along the lines of “all the good names are taken” and let emotion get in the way you will not see them.

    .co is not the answer

    that registry has made a fortune on people’s broken dreams.

    many people on this forum do not want to see you or any other domainer fail miserably. they’re trying to help you.

  35. Andy says

    Some .coms will be hit harder than others. The perception that .com is the only prestigious place to be may be weakened by .brands and .community TLDs. So far new TLDs have been a ragtag bunch but the firepower coming at .com in two years time will be much more concerted.

    The .coms at greatest risk are those that compete against community TLDs. Will people feel that they should support, and feel more at home at, a community TLD backed by community leaders, rather than .com.

    Maybe once the TLDs arrive some good things will happen, but in the meantime there is tremendous uncertainty. Those who had hoped to develop in a field that will be claimed by a community TLD may feel themselves a little hard done by.

  36. says

    @David J Castello These new city gTLDs will be the ccTLDs for the US that .US should have been. They will be the ones to watch closely as they may share the same development dynamics as the strong ccTLDs. The level of development in ccTLDs tends to be higher than that of the gTLDs, especially the non-core gTLDs (the gTLDs outside of COM/NET/ORG). What a lot of .COM focused people forget is that ccTLDs are local and part of the community. People in countries with strong ccTLDs don’t have to remember their ccTLD extension because it is part of their identity. Thus the .COM certainties of generics being category killers don’t apply in the same way. People remember ccTLD websites in the same way that they remember their local shops and bars. Because they are effectively smaller markets, the volume of type-in traffic may be lower too and this can have an effect on the domain prices. What could develop is a global cityname.com market and a local .cityname market. The cityname.com could see its traffic levels fall if it fails to innovate.

  37. says


    “According to a chart posted in the Board meeting room, it looks like no new gTLD’s will be operational until November 2013.”

    2013? Is that correct?

    Here it says Nov 2012:


  38. LS Morgan says

    If there’s any existing ship that might benefit from the rising tide (flood) of new TLDs and ‘dynamic identity’ to the right of the dot, it’s probably thus far under-utilized .us, but probably not enough to dive head first into them.

    I really don’t think any of this dilutes .com’s preeminence in the United States (in my lifetime, anyway)

    It all boils down to marketing dollars and the macro picture. If suddenly, there is a huge rush to vanity corporate TLDs, everyone has to have one and they start advertising them in a big way, that might make for an interesting ballgame, but I wouldn’t start dumping premier .com’s just yet.

    Here’s the Forbes Global 2000

    What they do will determine how this plays out.
    Not what domainers do with their wordpress splogs or what they talk about in blog comments. I’m still totally betting on .com.

  39. MHB says


    Your reading the chart wrong, look under November 2012, with the line to the right.

    Planned: Publish Initial Evaluation Results in November 2012.

    Then all the rest takes place

Comment Policy:

TheDomains.com welcomes reader comments. Please follow these simple rules:

  • Stay on topic
  • Refrain from personal attacks
  • Avoid profanity
  • Links should be related to the topic of the post
  • No spamming. Listing domains, products, or services will get the comment deleted

We reserve the right to remove comments if we deem it necessary.

Join the Discussion