gTLDs – First Batch Soon to Be Launched
Further to our previous updates on this matter, following years of preparatory work, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced on 23 October 2013 that the first new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) from its New gTLD Program are to be introduced in the next few weeks.
Once the final stage of the gTLD implementation process, the Sunrise period, has been completed, the first batch of gTLD domain names will be available to Internet users. By way of reminder, the Sunrise period offers at least 30 days where trademark holders who have registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse have an opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their marks before names are generally available to the public.
Akram Atallah, the president of ICANN's Generic Domains Division, stated:
it's happening – the biggest change to the Internet since its inception 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.
For more information on the gTLD program’s goals of enhancing competition and consumer choice see http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/about/program.
The four newly delegated gTLDs are in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic:
- Arabic for 'web/network'
- Cyrillic for 'online'
- Cyrillic for 'site'
- Chinese for 'game(s)'
These will be the first of many gTLDs in various non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Greek and Hindi that will be introduced under the program. According to ICANN, the remaining new gTLDs will be introduced "securely and steadily over the next few years".
ICANN press release 23 October 2013 (including new delegated gTLDs in original script): http://www.icann.org/en/news/press/releases/release-23oct13-en