A few days ago internet history was made when the first of the new gTLDs were officially delegated and went live in the Root Nameservers.
This signals the start of the largest expansion of top-level domains in the DNS root in internet history, growing from 22 gTLDs to what will eventually be more than 1400 new possibilities.
ICANN1 promises the vast selection of new options will open up more competition and more choice for consumers when choosing the right domain to represent their needs on the internet.
The first 4 new gTLDs which have been delegated by ICANN are all internationalized domain names or “IDNs”, this is no coincidence as ICANN specifically gives priority to IDNs to help create an inclusive global internet, broadening the growing non-latin speaking internet community engagement with the increasingly global and multi-lingual internet.
The 4 IDN TLDs which are now in the root zone:
.xn--ngbc5azd (شبكة.) — means “.web” in Arabic. Operated by dotShabaka Registry.
.xn--unup4y (.游戏) — means “.games” in Chinese. Operated by Donuts.
.xn--80aswg (.сайт) — means “.site” in various Cyrillic languages. Operated by CORE Association.
.xn--80asehdb (.онлайн) — means “.online” in various Cyrillic languages. Operated by CORE Association.
What does this mean for the registries?
Now that the first TLDs have finally been delegated the registries can get to work on launching their Sunrise periods. During sunrise trademark holders are able to apply for their marks as domain names. Registries are required to offer a sunrise period of no less than 30 days, after this they can go into General availability where anyone can register them.
First live domains?
Due to a clause in the Registry Agreement (RA) (3.1 of specification 5)2 only nic.TLD can be activated – in fact it MUST be active in the DNS.
Registries need to wait 120 days after signing their contracts before they can put other domains live due to collision concerns, although this is extremely unlikely with IDN gTLDs.
The first registry with a live site was : http://www.nic.游戏/
The CORE association and others in the IDN community are somewhat frustrated by this clause as they are unable to launch with a native language domain, and instead required to use nic.TLD3
What about the others nTLDs?
There are many more new gTLDs which are set to launch and which are at various stages still, we will likely see many more gTLDs making their way into the root zone in the coming months and years.
You can track the status of applications here: https://gtldresult.icann.org/application-result/applicationstatus