Do not be surprised if by early next year Internet users see internet domain names that ends with .bank, .web, .online, .space and many more.
Mumbai-based registrar of domain names Directi has applied for 31 strings of general top level domains (gTLDs). The company has made applications for gTLDs like .hotel, .app, .bank, .web, .online, .world and others.
Directi's applications are part of over 2,000 applications that were submitted to domain name policy manager the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
ICANN yesterday night closed the window for making applications for gtLDs. It is expected that it will be only after a few years again that ICANN would open the window for another set of applications. ICANN said late last night that they will reveal the new internet addresses on June 13 and will begin evaluating these names only by July 12. This is a part of ICANNs programme to introduce unlimited number of internet address, which will compete with the existing 22 names such as .com, .org, .net and others. The process of evaluation is expected to go on for six to seven months.
From India alone around 60-70 applications have been filed by registrars such as Directi, Net4 and others.
"We would be the largest company from India or Asia who has made over 30 applications. We have been working on this for more than a year. Unlike some of the other players in India we have decided to focus on our own property and hence decided to go ahead with generic and specific categories," said Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and founder Directi. The company has committed $30 million (around rs 170 crore) for this application alone.
Turakia also added that in case there are multiple applications for same domain names, then ICANN will go for an auction process and the highest bidder will get the name. "We know the competition is tremendous in this segment. But we are prepared to fight it out and we will participate in the auction process wherever our suggested domain names have multiple appliers," added Turakhia.
Meanwhile, Net4, another ICANN and .IN registrar is working with the Indian corporate sector. They have filed 28 applications on behalf of 15 large Indian corporate houses. "We have filed 28 applications representing 15 companies. Some of the companies have filed for multiple domain names. These are 7-10 years agreement with Net4 and we will be managing and servicing these gTLDs. We would be investing about Rs 4-5 crore over the next year or so in building and supporting the infrastructure. This will include hardware, software and manpower," said Jasjit Swahney Founder Chairman and CEO of Net4.
The attempt by ICANN to increase the domain name and allow any name to be part of the internet is pretty significant. It is after almost a decade or more that ICANN has opened up for accepting new TLDs, even in the midst of criticism and concern from several commission across the globe. This will while increase the web addresses by allowing domain names such as .Mumbai, .Delhi, .Coke or even .anything, it has raised concerns over cybersquatting.
What this means is that any established public or private organisation anywhere in the world can submit applications to create and operate a new gTLD registry. For instance, if .Tata gets ICANN’s approval, all the Tata group companies can use .tata in their web address. If Directi gets the .hotel domain name, then it can work with the hotels across the globe.
Domain names are divided into two segments—generic top level domains (gTLDs) and country code top level domains (ccTLDs). The gTLD segment accounts for domain names like .com, .net, .org, and .info, while ccTLDs are country specific like .in (India), .de (Germany) and .uk (UK).