ICANN’s bombshell: new TLDs sooner than expected thanks to a lottery

New TLD applicants will likely applaud plan — after they try to massage it to their best interests.

It’s still just a plan open to comment, but ICANN today released big news related to the orderly delegation of new top level domains.

First, it plans to go back to a lottery model for deciding which new TLDs will be evaluated and ultimately delegated.

Except for internationalized domain names, which will be given a priority:

IDNs will be given a priority. Advance release of IDNs promotes DNS diversity, makes the Internet more accessible, increases avenues of participation and serves the public interest.

I’m shocked that ICANN is considering giving IDNs a priority this late in the game. I’m sure that will raise howls from ASCII applicants who believe their top level domains will have equal benefits to the world.

Second, this new approach means new top level domains could begin delegation in the middle of 2013, rather than current estimates of early 2014.

The video below is new ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé explaining the new process.


  1. says

    On the subject of IDN’s. I have an IDN that I registered several years ago, and ICANN have written via my Registrar to say that it is no longer valid etc etc and needs to be deleted. Will they/should they compensate me ?.

  2. says

    Tell a lie, it was Verisign not iCANN. They wrote as follows;
    Verisign is committed to supporting the most recently approved version of the Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names, Version 3.0 as found on ICANNs web site at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/idn-guidelines-02sep11-en.htm. We encourage all registrars that are not familiar with the IDN guidelines to review them and contact Verisign with any questions you may have.

    The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) guidelines identify IDNA2008 as the most recently approved version of protocol with which generic Top-level domain name registries shall comply. The initial version of the IDNA protocol (IDNA2003) was defined in RFCs 3454, 3490, 3491, and 3492. A revised version is defined in RFCs 5890, 5891, 5892, 5893, and 5894. Both IDNA2003 and IDNA2008 will be found operating in applications (ie; web browsers) for an indeterminate transitional period. One of the most impactful updates to IDN registrants from IDNA2003 to IDNA2008 is newly disallowed code points. In order to ensure no newly disallowed code points may be registered Verisign updated our Software Development Kit and implemented additional registration filtering in the.com and .net shared registration system in Q1 2011.

    We are supplying you with the list of domain names within your registration base below that are currently registered, and disallowed by the IDNA2008 protocol. Section 5.4 of RFC 5891 describes how end user applications such as web browsers must reject disallowed labels (as defined by DISALLOWED tables in RFC 5892) prior to the DNS lookup. Because such Disallowed Domain Names will cease to function, at some point in time, Verisign may need to take steps to delete the names. Any deletion of disallowed domain names will be handled in a manner that mitigates the impact on registrants.

    Verisign is NOT initiating any deletions at this time; however, because Disallowed Domain Names will cease to function at some point in time, we recommend that you advise the registrant of any Disallowed Domain Names of the issue and that they may wish to transition to a new domain name

  3. Laters says

    It’s about damn time they did this with IDNs!!! :)

    I think the IDN community deserves this and it should be in front of ASCII because they have put IDNs on the backburner for ASCII for years and years.

    This is great news and it should have happened in 2006 or earlier.

    Also, bring on the new TLDs so we can get past all the gossip. It’s horrible to keep wading through. I’m ready for them to arrive and fail.

  4. Jose Rasco says

    If I happen to draw one of the early numbers, how much do you think my place in line would be worth to someone at the back of the line? lol :) This is going to get nutso.

  5. JS says

    @JohnUK , it’s not VRSN per se that’s calling the shots on invalid domains, it’s the whole internet community via the Internet Engineering Task Force. Your (symbol domain presumably) domain is simply invalid, and it will not work with applications going forward. In the future when browsers and email client upgrade to IDNA2008, your domain simply won’t resolve, even if VRSN keeps it in the root. Just stop renewing it and forget about it

    @Andrew, yes it’s weird that such a announcement come at this stage of the program. I guess perhaps it has something to do with the recent changes at the top. Some good arguments were raised re: priority of IDNs too

  6. John Berryhill says

    Now, he who finds the Grail must face 3 challenges. First, is the path of God: Only the penitent man shall pass. Second, is the word of God: Only in the footsteps of God, shall he proceed. Last is the breath of God: Only in a leap from the lion’s head shall he prove his worth.

  7. says

    “I’m shocked that ICANN is considering giving IDNs a priority this late in the game”

    The applied for new gTLD’s are all possibly going to offer additional choices to users. IDN gTLD’s will fill the gap that is still open and that is preventing equal access abilities to the majority of the Internet users.

    On numerous occasions when different supporting and objecting groups (e.g GAC,GNSO,ALAC and the ANA) debated the new gTLD program they often expressed they’re understanding of why IDN’s are necessary and they’re confusion over why there is a pressing need or a need at all for some of the proposed additional ASCII new gTLD’s.

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