New Categories of Generic Top Level Domains to be Introduced for Brands, Communities and Cities Registration Opens in January 2012

New Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will be introduced by Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers (ICANN) for the categories of Brands, Communities and Cities and Regions. Applications for the first round of new gTLDs will open on January 12, 2012 and run until April 12, 2012. During this time frame, organizations will be able to propose and apply for new generic top-level domains associated with particular interests or business sectors. Mr Rod Beckstorm, President and CEO, ICANN said this today at a Seminar organized jointly by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).

These domain names are likely to help organizations enhance branding, revenue, security, and user interaction. The availability of new gTLDs will create a unique opportunity for fast-acting organizations to define and acquire their own online namespace. With this Brand owners, such as corporations, sports teams, and other high-profile entities can protect their brands and trademarks, enhance brand trust, and create new ways to extend their brand and services to partners, resellers, and customers. Groups of like-minded organizations that share common missions, goals, and challenges can promote commercial or non-commercial offerings to better promote, protect, guide, and serve their communities. Cities and regions can promote greater recognition of their areas, city names, town and other geographical indiactors.

Shri N Ravi Shankar, Additional Secretary, DIT in his opening remarks said that the seminar is a crucial step that will determine the success of the gTLD initiative for the Indian Internet Community. Although there is no doubt that it signals a positive time for the Internet users and related organizations, there will be a number of issues that will require deliberation for its smooth implementation, security and confidentiality being some of the key elements within that framework. Both stakeholders and the industry have to come forward to iron out the underlying issues and set the standards towards raising the confidence level of the user community, and thereby its wide acceptance.

Dr Govind, Senior Director, DIT highlighted the role of the DIT in creating the ecosystem for the implementation of Indian languages on the Internet. Surpassing geographical boundaries, the Internet has brought forth the new dynamics of access, dependability and communication. Of these, language has probably been one of the key issues due to its direct effect on communication and its subsequent reach. The DIT has proactively recognized this aspect and tried to address the challenges by partnering with the best R&D organizations to seek relevant solutions.

Internet domain names have come to play an important role in socio-economic activities of mankind, especially in this Internet age. The importance and impact of the Internet on modern society can be gauged by the fact it transcends every aspect of human activity from knowledge to entertainment, and communication to regular chores like shopping and banking.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers (ICANN), the global body which manages Internet names and numbers, works to ensure a secure, stable and unified global Internet. It is based on the multi-stakeholder concept, which allows everyone with an interest in the Internet to participate in its work. Very recently, ICANN has made a major breakthrough by opening the doors to new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). This new initiative can be seen as a strategic move aimed at increasing choice and competition for all Internet users.

Through this announcement, ICANN has opened up its policy and permitted not only country names and Institutional names but also new Generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs), which were earlier limited to .edu, .com, .org etc.

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