The first new generic website address domains are on their way, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said Wednesday.
The new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) from ICANN's New gTLD Program were delegated. This means they were introduced into the Internet's Root Zone, the central authoritative database for the Internet's Domain Name System.
As a result, the domain name Registries, the organizations approved to operate these and other soon-to-be-delegated gTLDs, can execute the final processes required to make their domain names available to Internet users.
ICANN's New gTLD Program is responsible for the introductions of new gTLDs that will result in the expansion of the Domain Name System from 22 gTLDs (e.g., .COM, .NET, .ORG) to possibly 1,400 new names or "strings." These additional gTLDs are introduced in order to enhance competition and choice in the Domain Name space, providing a wider variety of organizations, communities and brands new ways to communicate with their audiences. All Registries that operate these new gTLDs must pass an evaluation process and technical preparations and assessments.
"It's happening – the biggest change to the Internet since its inception," said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Generic Domains Division. "In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined. It's this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society."
The four strings delegated are:
- شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – Arabic for "web/network"
Registry: International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
- онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Cyrillic for "online"
Registry: CORE Association
- сайт (xn--80aswg) – Cyrillic for "site"
Registry: CORE Association
- 游戏(xn--unup4y) – Chinese for "game(s)"
Registry: Spring Fields, LLC
The newly delegated gTLDs are in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic scripts. They are the first of many gTLDs in various non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Hindi that will be introduced under the New gTLD Program.
Before the general public will be able to access these new gTLDs on the Internet, Registries still need to complete a final process built into the New gTLD Program to protect trademark rights holders. Following this mandatory 30-day period, a Registry can make the new gTLD available to the general public at its discretion.
"Our efforts to ensure the secure and stable introduction of these new gTLDs is unparalleled," said Christine Willett, Vice President, gTLD Operations at ICANN. "In addition to applauding the applicants that have successfully completed the New gTLD Program, we also want to recognize the diligent work of our partners, the ICANN community and our own ICANN team. Together we have made an historic change in Internet address names."
ICANN is considering more than 1,800 requests for new web address endings.Many of the requests are from large companies such as Apple, Mitsubishi, Google and IBM.