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A New Generic Top-Level Domain Can Be Free

Jean Guillon

Most new gTLD applicant do not necessarily want to earn money from their domain name extension!

.BRANDS, for example, will be using their domain names for themselves and they will not earn money from the sale of domain names.

So, who are these new gTLD applicants who do not want to earn money from selling domain names and who do not want to spend money in an application? Who are these applicants who can have the benefit of applying "for free" and acquire the visibility of launching a new domain name extension?

Applying for a ."French city", is a nightmare as it has to go through the long process of a Call For Tender. A city cannot just select service providers and apply. This is not allowed in France. I believe many French cities won't have applied mainly because of this reason, but not only:

  1. It cost a lot of money to apply;
  2. The CFT process is long and time consuming;
  3. It requires internal resources;
  4. Internal resources require consulting to understand the ICANN process;
  5. Administrations do not like to deal with the subject of domain names;
  6. Having Finances, Communications, Legals and true deciders in the same room is just impossible;
  7. Having multiple meetings requires everyone to remember there is a meeting :-)
  8. Most of the time, mayors decide and it is not an easy thing to present directly to him;
  9. Public administrations do not want to spend hundreds of thousands Euros in "domain names";
  10. Those who pay taxes ("Les administr├ęs" in French) don't want to pay for domain names and, to say the least, cities do not want to show they spend money on this;
  11. The list is long...

So how does a city acquire its own Top-Level Domain, avoiding costs and most of what is in the list above?

There are strong organizations specialized in the process of acquiring a Top-Level Domain with ICANN and who will apply for a city TLD in exchange of a letter of support (or a letter of non objection) and a little communication.

Such organizations provide:

  • All the the fundings (application fees, consulting and knowledge, business model...);
  • Back-end registry solution(s);
  • Auctions solutions if agreed with the city that provides the letter of support;
  • A list of protected domain names for the use of the city;
  • Sunrise solutions;
  • Registrar solution;
  • Support prior, during and after the launching.

Such organizations are the ones who can make a profit from selling the city's domain names.

In exchange, the city acquires:

  • Its own domain name extension!
  • Generic domain names for its own use (ex: www.mairie.city). These are chosen during the validation of the project;
  • A clear answer to tax payers' complaints against money invested in the project. In this case, the city did not use tax money, it gave its authorization to a third party to exploit its name in a domain name's extension;
  • Worldwide visibility: the more domain names are used, the more the city is seen on Internet;
  • A good image: the city offers the possibility to buy a domain name but the money does not go into its pockets.

Such cities may earn a representative seat on the board but do not own the Top-Level Domain.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domain specialist. More blog posts from Jean Guillon can also be read here.

Related topics: Top-Level Domains

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