The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has decided to enhance competition and user choice via the introduction of new gTLDs (Generic Top-Level Domains). The application for these new gTLDs will be open between January and April 2012 only.
As part of the world-tour to promote this opportunity window, ISOC (Internet SOCiety) Lebanon hosted the visit to Beirut of the CEO of ICANN – Mr. Rod Beckstrom, and the COO of ICANN – Mr. Akram Atallah (yes a Lebanese !) who have agreed to meet with the pillars of the Internet Community in Lebanon to discuss the new gTLDs, DNSSEC, and any other Internet Governance issue. In this respect, ISOC Lebanon organized a gathering at Le Grey Hotel, downtown Beirut on 5 October, to meet with Messrs Beckstrom and Atallah. They explained the new frontier in the Internet which is about to open: Website names will expand from mere .COMs and .NETs to full-fledged names like .WINE and .HOLLYWOOD, and brands like .CANON and .DELOITTE. In January 2012, organizations will have the chance to own a dotBRAND domain name instead of just registering for a dotCOM website.
“ICANN has opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today’s decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. Applying for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) involves filling out a form that poses 50 questions. The questions are substantive, involved, and perhaps not always self-explanatory. The application costs USD 185,000 non refundable, and processing can take up to 18 months” explained Rod.
It is maybe now the time to apply to acquire .beirut, .banks, .shopping, .etc… Innovation and imagination are the limit! Global brand owners, industry associations, and Internet entrepreneurs are facing an important, and immediate, decision about how they should react to this new opportunity. ICANN’s application process for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) begins on January 12, 2012 and closes on April 12, 2012, so there is a small window in which to commit–and the next opportunity to apply will be several years from now. All you need to do is to have a “deep pockets”, a solid technical infrastructure, and … the patience to go through 352-page draft New gTLD Applicant Guidebook to get to the bottom of what the gTLD process is, how much it costs, and ultimately, why regular users should care 😉
On the following day, the two ICANN delegates, along with Mr. Nabil Bukhalid (ISOC Lebanon, Chair) and Gabriel Deek (VP ISOC Lebanon), visited the Beirut Internet eXchange Point hosted at Berytech, and toured the premises to meet some high-potential technology startups in the Internet space.
“I want to thank you for all the great work you and the rest of the ICT community are doing in LB. It is really impressive and encouraging to see all your accomplishments in spite of the poor infrastructure and lack of government support.” commented Akram Atallah after the visit.
Rod Beckstrom was impressed by the quality of the Lebanese startups and their entrepreneurial spirit, and took “Panoramic view of #Beirut from @berytech Univ St. Joseph& @BeirutIX http://t.co/FqbOjKxy using gr8 Lebanese app #Dermandar”, to quote his tweet 😉
For more information about gTLDS, visit http://newgtlds.icann.org/ or http://newgtlds.icann.org/announcements-and-media/video/overview-en