In what is shaping up to be an online gold rush, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is expected to announce the names of those who wish to stake a claim to a new group of domain suffixes that will be released soon. The announcement will come on today, June 13 and will list all applicants looking to control specific new domains.
Before the major news conference, ICANN has released some details of the applicants and the entire process. According to the report almost half of the applicants were from the United States with 884 requests. The Asia-Pacific region trailed with 303 applicants and the United Kingdom had 40 new suffix requests. African applicants also got in on the actions with 17 applicants for domains. Another indication of the internationalization of the web is the fact that 166 applications came in for domain suffixes that were not in the Latin script. The exact names of applicants and what the applicant requested will be released at the press conference, giving an opportunity to see what major online players are looking to do in the future.
ICANN initiated the process of introducing new generic top-level-domains (gTLDs) because the internet was basically running out of new names to use. Currently .com is the most used domain suffix and advocates believe that allowing for domain names will make the internet easier to use and more accessible. For example, Google has revealed that they have requested the .google suffix. This will make it easier to brand and market their products and also make searching and locating Google products easier for users.
There is a definite chance that applicants will be competing for the same domain and ICANN has setup a procedure for dealing with that type of issues. ICANN has said that it will give priority to “Community-based applications” over other applicants. If both requests are standard applicants then they will be given 60 days to decide between themselves what they want to do. If that does not work then the domain will be put up for auction and the requesters will have to bid to win the suffix.