What to expect from the next round of gTLDs

What to expect from the next round of gTLDs

A question we often are asked here at EBRAND is: when will I be able to apply for my own internet extension gTLD (like my competitor did) ? We usually reply that the process and policy used for the last round of applications are currently being reviewed and that it’s difficult to give a firm date. To help clarify matters, we’ve decided to write this article which will delve into the current review, and foreseeable date, of the next rounds of applications. The following is written right after the March 2017 ICANN 58 meeting which took place in Copenhagen, and we will do our best to update it as the review process develops.


ICANN (the domain name regulator) officially allowed new extensions to be applied for back in 2008. The means selected to delegate those extensions was to stagger them in time limited application rounds.

The first round took place in the beginning of 2012. 1,930 new internet extensions were applied for in accordance with ICANN categories : generic (.blog, .email,.企业 .ninja), geographical (.paris, .berlin, .nyc) , community based (.gay, .catholic, .porn), and brand (.lidl, .apple, .postbank).

The delegation started in October 2013 and, as of now, 1,216 extensions have been delegated. 86 should be delegated in the near future.

Second Round

On February 7, 2012, the ICANN Board approved a resolution to implement a second application window for the new gTLD program.

However, before the second round can take place, the programme needs to be reviewed to ensure that the first one promoted consumer trust and consumer choice. Moreover, ICANN needs to measure the effectiveness of the application and evaluation process as well as the safeguards put in place to mitigate issues

The gTLD Review Process

There are currently three review processes, all running in parallel, which need to be finalised for the second round to open.

1/ New gTLD Subsequent Procedures The Subsequent Procedures working group reported that several tracks are running in parallel, each dealing with one specific aspect of the charter questions. Some of the work has been completed while other larger pieces are taking longer. They stated that their initial report should be issued at the end of 2017.

For its part, the Cross Community working group on Country and Territory names has concluded that no 2-letter label must be allowed in future gTLD rounds because 2-letters are specifically reserved for current and future ccTLDs. However, as the group could not reach consensus on 3-letter extensions, they might be allowed during the next round.

2/ All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPM) As an EBRAND client, you must be aware of the protection mechanisms available to brand owners as part of the new extension programme. (If you are not, please do contact your account manager).

The RPM working group is tasked to review all rights protection mechanisms. As such its members are reviewing the use and effectiveness of the TMCH, the UDRP, the URS, and the lesser used Post Delegation Policy. The working group reported that review of the UDRP and URS would be undergone last as they will take longer than the first two.

The group expect to have its initial report ready for publication in late 2017 for the PDP and TMCH review. The second phase of the review, which will be solely dedicated to UDRP will begin in early 2018.

3/ Registration Directory Services The working group is still working on phase 1, which is focused on fundamental requirements for the new WHOIS system. Next step will be to focus on policy development. However due to the sheer amount of work and the divergence of point of of views between the group members, no specific timeline for an initial report was provided.

Get involved with gTLDs news

Leadership from each working group called for more involvement : the more participants, the faster the work will be accomplished and the second round can take place. If you want to help, you can by joining a working group or commenting on working group reports.

For more about the issues effecting domain management, check out our purpose-built page.

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