ICANN – the authority entrusted with an international mandate to define the policies relating to domain names on the Internet – has confirmed the launch of the liberalization of the gTLD namespace. Numerous projects involving new gTLDs can now be submitted as part of the application and assessment process managed by ICANN. Applications must be filed between 12 January and 12 April 2012.
They will then be assessed by ICANN with the publication of the list of declared candidates at the end of April 2012 and the publication of the results of initial assessment in November 2012 before an operational launch of new gTLDs 12 months later (i.e. year-end 2013). Known gTLD projects include cities, regions and cultural communities (such as .paris, .aquitaine or .bzh), brand names (.canon) or centres of interest (.shop, .bank etc.). Although the expected number of new gTLDs is difficult to estimate with any accuracy, ICANN is preparing to receive some 500 applications.
As the provider of technical solutions and services for registry operators, AFNIC welcomes the launch of the new gTLD process. It will enable AFNIC to assist new project sponsors as well as continue the preparatory work already undertaken with declared candidates such as .paris. In September 2009, Paris City Hall decided to rely on the expertise of the AFNIC / CORE Franco-Swiss group for its technical assistance in the .paris project. 1 Top Level Domain or extension.
There are two types of TLD: country code TLDs (ccTLD) such as .fr, and generic TLDs (gTLD) such as .com. Among the TLDs in existence today on the Internet there are 274 ccTLDs, and 21 gTLDs.