History::Generic top-level domain


Domains::domain    ICANN::title    GTLDs::internet    Icann::generic    First::which    Domain::newgtlds

History The initial set of top-level domains, defined by RFC 920 in October 1984, was a set of "general purpose domains": com, edu, gov, mil, org. The net domain was added with the first implementation of these domains. The com, net, and org TLDs, despite their originally specific goals, are now open for use for any purpose.

In November 1988, another TLD was introduced, int. This TLD was introduced in response to NATO's request for a domain name which adequately reflected its character as an international organization. It was also originally planned to be used for some Internet infrastructure databases, such as, the IPv6 equivalent of However, in May 2000, the Internet Architecture Board proposed to exclude infrastructure databases from the int domain. All new databases of this type would be created in arpa (a legacy domain from the conversion of ARPANET), and existing usage would move to arpa wherever feasible, which led to the use of for IPv6 reverse lookups.

By the mid-1990s there was discussion of introduction of more TLDs. Jon Postel, as head of IANA, invited applications from interested parties.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In early 1995, Postel created "Draft Postel", an Internet draft containing the procedures to create new domain name registries and new TLDs.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Draft Postel created a number of small committees to approve the new TLDs. Because of the increasing interest, a number of large organizations took over the process under the Internet Society's umbrella. This second attempt involved setting up a temporary organization called the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). On February 4, 1997, the IAHC issued a report ignoring the Draft Postel recommendations and instead recommended the introduction of seven new TLDs (arts, firm, info, nom, rec, store, and web). However, these proposals were abandoned after the U.S. government intervened.

In September 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created to take over the task of managing domain names. After a call for proposals (August 15, 2000) and a brief period of public consultation, ICANN announced on November 16, 2000, its selection of the following seven new TLDs: aero, biz, coop, info, museum, name, pro.

Biz, info, and museum were activated in June 2001, name and coop in January 2002, pro in May 2002, and aero later in 2002. pro became a gTLD in May 2002, but did not become fully operational until June 2004.

ICANN added further TLDs, starting with a set of sponsored top-level domains. The application period for these was from December 15, 2003, until March 16, 2004, and resulted in ten applications.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Of these, ICANN has approved asia, cat, jobs, mobi, tel and travel, all of which are now in operation. xxx was finally approved in March 2011,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> one year after an independent review found ICANN had broken its own bylaws when it rejected its application in 2007.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Of the remaining applications (post, mail and an alternative tel proposal). post was introduced in 2012.

On June 26, 2008, during the 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting in Paris,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> ICANN started a new process of TLD naming policy to take a "significant step forward on the introduction of new generic top-level domains." This program envisions the availability of many new or already proposed domains, as well as a new application and implementation process.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> <ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Observers believed that the new rules could result in hundreds of new gTLDs being registered.<ref>ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains, CircleID, June 26, 2008.</ref>

New top-level domains

The introduction of several generic top-level domains over the years has not stopped the demand for more gTLDs and ICANN has received many proposals for establishment of new top-level domains.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Proponents have argued for a variety of models ranging from adoption of policies for unrestricted gTLDs (see above) to chartered gTLDs for specialized uses by specialized organizations.

A new initiative started in 2008 foresees a stringent application process for new domains that adhere to a restricted naming policy for open gTLDs, community-based domains, and internationalized domain names (IDNs).<ref name="guidebook">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> According to a guidebook published by ICANN,<ref name="guidebook" /> a community-based gTLD is "a gTLD that is operated for the benefit of a defined community consisting of a restricted population." All other domains fall under the category open gTLD, which "is one that can be used for any purpose consistent with the requirements of the application and evaluation criteria, and with the registry agreement. An open gTLD may or may not have a formal relationship with an exclusive registrant or user population. It may or may not employ eligibility or use restrictions."

The establishment of new gTLDs under this program requires the operation of a domain registry and a demonstration of technical and financial capacity for such operations and the management of registrar relationships.

A fourth version of the draft applicant guidebook (DAG4) was published in May 2011.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> On June 20, 2011, ICANN's board voted to end most restrictions on the generic top-level domain names (gTLD) from the 22 currently available.<ref name="VOA">New Internet Name Rule Opens Door to Huge Changes. Voice of America, June 20, 2011. Accessed June 20, 2011</ref><ref name="AP">Internet minders OK vast expansion of domain names, Associated Press, June 20, 2011. Accessed June 20, 2011</ref> Companies and organizations will be able to choose essentially arbitrary top-level Internet domains. The use of non-Latin characters (such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, etc.) will also be allowed in gTLDs. ICANN began accepting applications for new gTLDs on January 12, 2012.<ref name="VOA"/> Entertainment and financial services brands are most likely to apply for new gTLDs for their brands, according to a survey by registrar Melbourne IT.<ref name="Managing Internet IP">Who will apply for gTLDs, Managing Internet IP, June 21, 2011.</ref> The initial price to apply for a new gTLD was $185,000.<ref name="AP" /> ICANN expects that the first batch of new gTLDs will be operational by September 2013.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> ICANN expects the new rules to significantly change the face of the internet. Peter Thrush, chairman of ICANN's board of directors stated after the vote: "Today's decision will usher in a new internet age. We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration. Unless there is a good reason to restrain it, innovation should be allowed to run free."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Industry analysts predicted 500–1000 new gTLDs,<ref name="AP"/> mostly reflecting names of companies and products, but also cities and generic names like bank and sport. According to Theo Hnarakis, chief executive of Melbourne IT, the decision "will allow corporations to better take control of their brands. For example, apple or ipad would take customers right to those products."<ref name="AP"/> In agreement Nick Wood, Managing Director of Valideus, suggested "Your own gTLD demonstrates confidence and vision and may accelerate your brand and its value. An internet address at the Top Level is far better than registration at the 'low rent' Second Level." <ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> However, some companies, like Pepsi, have ruled out a branded gTLD.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

Generic top-level domain sections
Intro  History  Terminology  Expansion of gTLDs  See also  References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Terminology