Government interest in new web domains low

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Government interest in new generic top-level domains is low, according to a list of 1,930 applicants for the new gTLDs unveiled June 13 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

ICANN began accepting applications for new gTLDs Jan. 12 despite concern among trademark holders that new domains (such as .amazon or .apple, both of which are on the ICANN applicant list) would cause businesses to spend considerable amounts of money on defensively registering domain names.

Applicants typically paid $185,000 to submit an application and committed to paying at least $25,000 annually thereafter, should their proposed gTLD become an actuality.

Included in the list of applicants are 230 proposed gTLDs with more than one applicant, including proposed new additions to the world wide web such as .lol, .love, .party, and .shop.

Governments mostly stayed out of the process, with the exception of China, Taiwan and Dubai. The China Organizational Name Administration Center proposes a non-Latin alphabet addition that would be used for government and government affairs, while the city government of Taipei, Taiwan proposes .taipei. The Dubai eGovernment Department also proposes .dubai.

Applications from North America--most of them from the United States--dominate the list, consisting of 911 of the total. Google is the organization with the greatest number of applications, the deep-pocketed company having apparently submitted 101 applications for gTLDs via an entity called "Charleston Road Registry Inc." Apart from applying for .google and .android, Charleston Road Registry has also applied for .cloud and .map.

Evaluation of proposed gTLDs will favor resolving contested gTLDs in the first round of reviews, said Kurt Pritz, ICANN senior vice president for stakeholder relations, during a June 13 webcast press conference in London. Proposed domains must also undergo analysis to ensure they are not so similar to each other as to cause confusion, Pritz noted.

.app is the most contested new domain name, with 13 applicants vying for it. New gTLDs could become live in 2013, with the results of evaluations made public as early as December.

For more:
- download a list of applied-for new gTLDs (.pdf)
- go to an ICANN FAQ on next steps for gTLD applications
- go to an ICANN site dedicated to the gTLD expansion

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