Information for the Press
At one minute past midnight (UTC) on Thursday, 12 January, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began accepting applications for new generic Top-Level Domains, marking one of the biggest changes in the Internet's evolution.
The new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program will greatly expand the current number of 22 Top-Level Domains (i.e., .com, .gov, .net, etc.) to include almost any word or name. It also allows, for the first time, non-Latin language scripts, such as Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic to be used in a gTLD.
The new program was approved by ICANN's Board of Directors in June at the 41st public meeting in Singapore, after six years of careful study, discussion and debate. The program's formation was framed by 45 comment periods encompassing more than 2,400 comments and analyses. There were 55 explanatory memoranda or independent reports and 7 drafts of the gTLD Applicant Guidebook.
The first application window for new gTLDs will close on April 12 and soon afterwards ICANN will post on its web site what domain names have been applied for, and by whom.
The opening of the application window for the new generic Top-Level Domain program led to massive global news media coverage. Below is a small sampling of some of the stories that were produced.
14 February 2012
9 February 2012
7 February 2012
19 January 2012
11 January 2012
11 January 2012
8 December 2011
7 December 2011
28 October 2011
27 October 2011
26 October 2011
24 October 2011
18 October 2011
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.
ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.
ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.