Thursday, January 11, 2018

A limit to 1,000 new gTLD applications?

When the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program, who knew that there would be so many applications submitted?


The funny thing is that - and let's be honest - nobody knew that it was possible to submit a new  gTLD application: nobody knew but the very 1,930 few applicants who submitted theirs (which was considered as "a lot" by ICANN insiders).

1,930 applications
When looking at the official numbers, 1,930 applications were submitted and 1,227 have completed the program (which means that they are active). They are extensions dedicated to selling domain names and .BRANDs dedicated to companies with a prior right to operate their personalized domain names.

First thought
My first thought us that 1,930 applications - worldwide - is nothing compared to what it could be in the next application round now many more people know that it is possible to submit an application.

I came out to reading this recent publication from the ICANN with a strange title: "SAC100: SSAC Response to the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group Request Regarding Root Scaling".

When reading this document, there is a strange line which I find very scary, it says: "whether the limitations on delegations per annum (1000 / year) could be revisited". I think that this was already written in the new gTLD Applicant guidebook somewhere and I am not digging more but my understanding of this is that the next new gTLD application window could be limited to 1,000 applications only.

Just for France, there were 49 applications submitted and the French potential for the next round is of 200 applications. I imagine that it's probably going to be the same in other countries so the total number of applications submitted should be of more - MUCH MUCH MORE - than 1,930 applications submitted.

What if this number was limited to 1,000 applications?
Of course, I am confident that this is never not going to happen but would this happen, here is what I think that it means for potential applicants:

  1. Don't "play" and ensure that your new gTLD service provider knows what he does because sits are going to be very limited;
  2. Make sure that your technical backend registry won't first have to go through a technical validation process by the ICANN because this takes time and many already have "passed the test": working with a newcomer won't necessary put you in first 1,000 seats for your application to be validated by the ICANN.
  3. Don't mess up because it could take a year for you to submit your application again if you fail.
  4. Be worried: when you want to buy an special apartment in Hong-Kong, money is not the problem, the waiting list is.
Let's remain optimistic
The ICANN earns a lot of money with new gTLDs and as far as I know, the web works fine so why would this change?


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