After literally years of speculation and several delays, ICANN have this month published the draft Application Guidebook for applying for new top-level internet domains. The Guidebook, although still in draft form, provides some of the detailed criteria that we will have to satisfy. In a few months there will be a second draft followed by the final version in the 2nd quarter of 2009. On the current timetable it looks like the window to make bids for new top level domains will open in Autumn 2009. If this was the case then we are looking at the early stages of 2010 for dotSCO domains becoming available for purchase.
ICANN are reportedly expecting up to 500 applications for new top level domains, some will be community bids like ours and dotCYM while some will be ‘open’ commercial projects.
The new top level domains will fall into 4 broad categories –
(1) Commercial TLDs -such as dotSHOP or dotWINE. (2) ‘Vanity’ TLDs – such as dotEBAY and dotGOOGLE.
(3) City TLDs – such as dotNYC, dotBERLIN, dotLONDON and dotPARIS.
(4) Community TLDs – such as dotSCO, or dotCYM for the Welsh Community, dotGAL for the Galician Community and dotNAI for the North American Indigenous Community.