New gTLD Domains

Late in November, 2000, ICANN announced the selections of new top-level domains.

The new top domains are:

  • .aero – a restricted topdomain for aerospace related companies
  • .biz – an unrestricted domain intended for business sites
  • .coop – a restricted domain for cooperative ventures
  • .info – an unrestricted domain for informational sites
  • .museum – a restricted domain for museums
  • .name – an unrestricted domain for individuals
  • .pro – a restricted domain for professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and so on

A "restricted" domain means that registration is only available to those individuals and organizations that meet certain qualifications set forth by the registry. These domains are similar to the .edu, .gov and .mil topdomains

An "unrestricted" domain means that anyone can register a name in that topdomain without any special conditions attached to it. Thus, they are similar to .com, .net, and. org.

A number of inquiries have hit us regarding obtaining these domain names or when they will become available. ICANN and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have issued a consumer alert, warning that offers for preregistration are "premature". Indeed, ICANN has yet to resolve which companies will administer the domains. Once ICANN has determined the administrators of the domains, these administrators will have to build, implement and test their infrastructure and make sure that new domain submissions will be visible on the Internet.

A lot of work still needs to be done before these new top domains become active. The US Department of Commerce still needs to approve these new gTLDS. Some US Congress and Senate members have indicated that they may want to review the matter as well. Then there is of course the chance that litigation may hold up some of the new domains as well. Add to that ICANN's notorious history of indecisiveness, and you understand why we do not expect any new top domain to become active before the Fall of 2001.

In the News

MARCH 6, 2001
Defying ICANN, a California start-up began selling Web addresses on Monday based on 20 new and unsanctioned suffixes including .kids, .sport, .travel and .xxx.
Another source for this story

FEBRUARY 8, 2001
ICANN Chairman Vinton Cerf justifies ICANN's new gTLD selection.

FEBRUARY 8, 2001
ICANN Chairman Vinton Cerf will appear on Thursday before the subcommittee on telecommunications of the House of Representative's Energy and Commerce Committee.

FEBRUARY 8, 2001
ICANN Chairman Vinton Cerf will appear on Thursday before the subcommittee on telecommunications of the House of Representative's Energy and Commerce Committee.

FEBRUARY 7, 2001
ICANN and its controversial selection process for top-level domain names will be the subject of two congressional hearings.

FEBRUARY 6, 2001
The Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing Thursday, February 8, 2001 on ICANN's November decision to accept these seven new top level domains.