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First Four Registry Agreements Signed for New TLDs

Mary Iqbal

The first four new Top Level Domains (TLDs) have signed contracts with ICANN, known as Registry Agreements, to allow the applicants to operate new TLDs on the Internet. This is a historic event and marks the first of many new Registry Agreements which will be signed over the coming months as prospective new TLD operators complete the Initial Evaluation phase, pre-delegation testing, and finally sign Registry agreements.

These first four TLDs were part of the historic 2012 application round for new TLDs. In 2012, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, accepted applications for new Top Level Domains (TLDs). Over 1900 applications for new TLDs were filed in ICANN's 2012 application round, including applications for everything from .shop and .red to .AAA and .GAP.

Historically, it has taken most companies about 9 months after the Registry Agreement is signed before domain names go on sale to the general public. This 9-month period is usually broken out into a six-month 'ramp-up' phase, during which the Operator deploys necessary infrastructure to support the new TLD. After the 'ramp-up' phase, all TLD operators are required to hold a 'Sunrise' phase, which is a period where domain names are offered for sale in a limited venue prior to general public availability. The Sunrise period typically starts with a 30-day, Trademark owners only period during which Trademark owners are permitted to purchase domain names corresponding to their trademarked names. After the Trademark Sunrise, an additional 60 days is typically offered during which individuals and organizations may indicate their interested in purchasing specific, high value domain names. In the event that two individuals or organizations express interested in the same domain name during the Sunrise phase, then interested parties must bid for the domain name.

All of this means that domain names to the general public within these four new TLDs could begin as early as April 2014.

All Four TLDs are IDNs

The first four applicants to sign Registry Agreements were, not surprisingly, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). That's because ICANN assigned all foreign language script TLDs with the lowest prioritization numbers. ICANN has been evaluating applicants in the order established in a drawing held in December 2012. It was decided that the IDNs, that is, the TLDs in foreign language scripts, would be evaluated first so that these would be the first TLDs launched as a result of this application round.

PriorityIDN TLDTranslationApplicant
3شبكةArabic for "Web or Network"International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
6онлайнRussian for "Online"Core Association
58сайтRussian for "Web site"Core Association
61游戏Chinese for "Game"Spring Fields, LLC (a Donuts company)

The TLDs above are the first four TLDs in this application round to sign Registry Agreements with ICANN. A Registry Agreement is the agreement between ICANN and an operator which governs TLD pricing, TLD policies, and Registry fees due to ICANN. The Registry Agreements for all TLDs today are posted publicly on ICANN's website. ICANN has indicated that the Registry Agreements for the four TLDs above will be posted to the ICANN website within the next few days.

About the Applicants:

International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd. – International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd., based in Australia, applied for the dot شبكة Top Level Domain. شبكة means Web or Network in Arabic. International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd. only applied for one Top Level Domain.

CORE Association – CORE Association applied for a total of three new Top Level Domains (TLDs). All three of these TLDs have passed the Initial Evaluation phase, and two out of three have signed Registry Agreements

Spring Fields LLC – Spring Fields LLC is wholly owned by Donuts, Inc. Through its various subsidiary companies, Donuts, Inc. applied for more Top Level Domains than any other applicant. Donuts, Inc. created hundreds of subsidiary companies, such as Spring Fields, LLC, and each subsidiary company was the applicant for one TLD. Spring Fields, LLC was the sole applicant for the .游戏 TLD. 游戏 means 'Game' in Chinese.

By Mary Iqbal, Founder of DotAnything.co

Related topics: Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

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Comments

quick question from my days in the Page Howe  –  Jul 22, 2013 9:11 AM PST

quick question from my days in the 2000 round.

isnt there still the step of being added to the root and Dept of Commerce approval.

page howe

Yes - delegation still a step Mary Iqbal  –  Sep 01, 2013 12:24 PM PST

Yes, applicants must apply for delegation into the Root zone.

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