The domain name system (DNS) helps users find their way around the internet. Every computer has a unique IP address which is a long string of numbers hard to remember. DNS allows a string of letters to be used instead making it much easier to navigate and much more memorable e.g. www.nominet.uk
A domain name registry manages top-level domain names. They create domain extensions, set the rules for that domain name and work with registrars to sell to businesses and consumers. Nominet is the internet registry for the UK Domain Family such as .co.uk, .uk and .org.uk and for 36 gTLDs.
You can become your own registry by securing your own TLD.
A domain name registrar is a commercial organisation which manages the registrations of domain names and sells to the end user. A registrar must be accredited by ICANN to sell generic TLDs like .com or .net.
A registrar will often offer additional services needed to run a website such as hosting, support and keeping your personal details secure.
A TLD is simply the name for letters to the right of the dot in your website or email address. There are two main types of TLDs.
Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) – these are used for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory such as .uk, .de or .ca.
Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) – a gTLD is simply a dictionary word or abbreviation of three or more distinct characters, the most common of these are .com or .net.
The application process is managed by the Internet Corporation of Names and Number (ICANN), the non-profit corporation responsible for controlling the gTLD namespace. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy.
The new application window is likely to open in 2019, however the final details have not yet been released. At this time we will know if a limit has been applied. During round one there was no limit to the number of TLDs an organisation could apply for, however an application fee was applied for each submission.
The leading organisations with TLDs ready to use as of 2 August 2016 are Amazon and Google, closely followed by brand protection agencies who will often submit the application on behalf of a client.
In 2012 Nominet directly applied for 2 TLDs of our own .wales and .cyrmu. We also provided application support to several clients including .bentley, .bbc and .comcast.
Other interesting round one applicants include: Microsoft, Kerry Trading Co., L’Oreal, Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson & Johnson, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
A registry service provider is an operator who helps registry owners manage their TLD. They offer infrastructure to make sure the TLD stays online and helps with customer queries.
When applying for a new TLD it is essential to appoint a registry service provider to help with the technical part of the application. Nominet falls into this category and offers these services to 36 different extensions including .blog and .vip.
The new application window is likely to open in 2019, however the final details have not yet been released including the pricing structure for new applications. As soon as this information is released we will publish it or you can sign up to our email service to receive the latest TLD news.
The new application window is likely to open in 2019, however the final details have not yet been released. However it’s worth thinking about your internal processes now, whether that’s considering your market sizing for new generic or geo opportunities or thinking about how your new .brand TLD will be used.
We are keen to talk to you about how securing a new domain extension will be beneficial for your business.
More information can be found on the ICANN website.
Brand TLDs enable you to have your own dedicated online space for your brands or company name; simply apply for your brand to the right of the dot. Many organisations are already doing this and now you can too. Make sure your customers’ focus is on your brand.
Owning the legal rights to your brand name might not be enough to claim secure your TLD. For example, if your desired TLD is also a surname or generic word others could put in a claim. One reason Philips might have applied for its .brand name could be to prevent it going to credible claims for individuals with the ‘Philips’ surname.
By submitting an application, all claims for your chosen TLD will be considered.
No, this is not possible as ICANN does not accept reservations or pre-registrations based on trademarks.
There are no plans for ICANN to introduce a notification system, however a list of applications received will be published by ICANN after the submission period closes.
Generic TLDs have been classed as such for historical reasons, as they needed to contrast with country specific TLDs such as .uk or .de. A generic TLD is simply a dictionary word or abbreviation of three or more distinct characters.
There are specific technical rules which will apply to all proposed gTLD strings, for example, an application for a string composed entirely of numbers will be rejected. Applicants for a gTLD that is a geographic name must also meet additional requirements. See section on Geographics.
Currently there is not a process for reservations or pre-applications and there is unlikely to be so. ICANN the non-profit corporation responsible for generic TLD applications does not endorse third party organisations to do this. Be aware of organisations who claim they can.
A geo domain extension is a form of generic application linked to a geographical region, examples include .miami, .wales and .bayern. This is different from the traditional country codes such as .uk, .de, .ca which are the two letter identifier reserved for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory.
Any public or private organisation can apply for a geographical TLD, however they are likely to need the backing of the governments or public authorities for the application to be authorised.
During the first round of applications there were some specific rules identified when applying for a geographical generic name. ICANN ensured appropriate consideration was given to the interests of governments or public authorities in that place. Applications for country names and country codes (as per ISO 3166-1 standards) have not formed part of the generic TLD process to date.
However the following are considered with support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities:
• Capital City
• City name
• A subnational place name
• UNESCO region