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.