Do only 4 new TLDs have a chance of going live this year?

Barring a flurry of activity at ICANN or changes to the name collision mitigation plan, the launch of new TLDs won’t be a 2013 event.

ICANN released updated contracting statistics for its new top level domain name program yesterday, and applicants will be sad to see that there are still just four signed registry agreements.

Although a lot of applicants are going through the process, it has been slow going.

For example, the applicant for the Arabic IDN that means “site” said it was invited to sign the registry agreement on July 25. Noting that it would take 20 hours to travel to ICANN’s office in Los Angeles, it sent a customer support request to ICANN asking if there were other signing options (e.g. electronic signing, accredited agents to sign on behalf of a registry). After three weeks, it says it hadn’t heard back.

Why the delays? There’s are lot in flux, some of which will affect the contract, so ICANN is probably trying to slow down the actual signings until the details are finalized.

The big issue is the name collision mitigation plan. This is why, barring any signings in the coming week, that no more than four TLDs could officially launch in 2013.

The name collision plan, as proposed by ICANN, would require a waiting period of at least 120 days after a registry contract is signed before any domains may be activated under the TLD.

If a contract isn’t signed by September 1, that means no names could be activated until 2014.

Registries could still go forward with their sunrise period and landrush reservations and auctions, so there might be some buzz around that. But don’t expect to be able to hand register many new TLDs at a domain name registrar until next year.


  1. M says

    4 IDN’s.

    1 Arabic ,Shabaka – Network – شبكة
    2 Cyrillic .Site and .Online /сайт and онлайн
    1 Chinese .Games – 游戏

  2. says

    Thank you Andrew for the article, and thank you for the mention.

    As an update, .موقع (.site in Arabic) has so far NOT received any answers from ICANN on the questions sent on August 1. As a plan B, the owner of the project has authorized his brother to sign the contract on behalf of him, but let us see how long will ICANN take to process this. One of the issues ICANN did not consider is that nationals from some countries require months to obtain a visa. In our case, the owner of the project was informed that he might need 2+ months to get a valid visa to enter the USA.

    If things go as planned and we manage to get our contract signed, that should be around mid-September. And since we will have to wait 120 days from the date of signing the contract, we expect to sell the first domain name mid-January 2013.

    Fahd A. Batayneh
    Executive Director
    .موقع (.site in Arabic) IDN gTLD Registry

  3. says

    Thank you Andrew for the post, and thank you for the mention.

    .موقع (.site in Arabic) has so far not heard back from ICANN on the questions submitted on August 1 (i.e. 25 days and counting). We have already developed a plan B, and if things go as planned, we expect to sign the contract sometime mid-September. If that happens, we expect to sell the first domain name mid-January 2014.

    One issue ICANN must consider is that citizens of some countries require months before they can get a visa to enter the USA. As a Jordanian, I get the royalty of obtaining my USA visa in less than 24 hours provided that all my paperwork was done right, but that is not the case for citizens of other developing countries.

    Fahd A. Batayneh
    .موقع (.site in Arabic)

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