Afilias, the domain name registry operations company behind .info, .mobi, and 14 other Top Level Domain (TLDs), is advising leading brands about the short time remaining before the dot Brand application window opens on 12 January 2012.
In just 40 days -- 12 January 2012 -- a 92-day application window will open where businesses, for the first time, will be able to acquire and manage their own dot Brand Web extension. For example, think "news.pepsi" instead of "pepsi.com/news."
Seven years have passed since the last application round, when just seven top-level domains (TLDs) were approved. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that manages the availability of top-level domains on the Internet, plans to allocate an unlimited number of new extensions, many of which will be dot Brands. With a maximum delegation of approximately 500 dot Brand extensions expected each year -- and thousands of applications for TLDs expected -- Afilias is estimating a wait of up to a decade before the application window for dot Brand will open again. Currently, ICANN has not announced a date.
“Businesses need to get moving now if they are going to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Roland LaPlante, CMO, Afilias. “With the opening of the application window in just 40 days, brands need to start their application for a dot Brand domain as soon as possible. And given the short preparation window remaining, it’s more important now than ever for potential dot Brands to team with an experienced provider, like Afilias.”
With over ten years of experience with new ICANN gTLDs, Afilias has more experience supporting successful applications and rollouts than any other provider. Afilias has launched an education program to inform and advise businesses about the dot Brand opportunity. This aims to communicate the benefits of the new TLDs, including ways a dot Brand can contribute to stronger branding and better security. The program also outlines Afilias’ support services for dot Brand applicants on how they can meet the 22 detailed technical requirements laid out by ICANN. Details are available free online at http://www.afilias.info/dotbrand
LaPlante added, “For many brands, there are great benefits to owning their name as a Web extension. For example, dot Brands can make a URLs more memorable and more promotional. A dot Brand domain can also bolster consumer confidence and trust by effectively combating fraud and counterfeiting online. Although ICANN has not announced how applications will be prioritized, proposed TLDs that do not jeopardize the security and stability of the Internet are likely to be approved first.
For this reason, brands that apply for a new TLD with a registry operator, such as Afilias, which has already proven itself to ICANN as a trusted technical supplier, are more likely to be front of the queue for a dot Brand domain.”