On June 13, 2012, in what was referred to as “Reveal Day” for the new generic Top-Level Domain program, ICANN posted the names of the 1,930 proposed gTLDs together with applicant information for applications received in the first application window.
For reference purposes, the proposed gTLDS can be broadly characterized in various ways, such as geographic names, descriptive names, brand names, community names, and “IDNs”. IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name. IDNs are simply domain names represented by local language characters such as Arabic or Chinese, or letter equivalents rather than Latin characters.
Though perhaps not as numerous as some may have initially anticipated, there appear to be a fair number of trademarks or brand name gTLDs for large corporations or other types of large entities.
Numerous proposed gTLDs have multiple applicants, and unless private agreement is reached, the eligible applicants apparently must bid at auction for sole possession of each unique gTLD.
Two factors which may have limited the overall numbers of proposed gTLDs are the sizable application fees and the logistical considerations. For example, a US$185,000 evaluation fee likely presented a substantial barrier to some. Moreover, the program requires the operation of a domain registry and a demonstration of technical and financial capacity for such operations, including the management of registrar relationships.
Overall, the application process is still in the early stages. For example, an objection period for submitting formal objections is expected to remain open for approximately seven months. Indeed, the first set of new generic Top-Level Domains is not expected to be operational until sometime in 2013. Accordingly, the number of initially operational new gTLDs could be substantially less than the currently pending 1,930 proposed gTLDs.
ICANN New gTLD Reveal Day Announcement