200-1,000 new top level domains could be added in first year.
ICANN has released two documents related to the number of new top level domain names that may be added to the web per year.
The first document is technical in nature, covering how many gTLDs can be added to the root in any year. I previously wrote that it was determined 1,000 new TLDs could be added to the root in a year without problems. But after reading this report it’s clear that 1,000 was used as a maximum number based on the process bottleneck for approving new TLDs. Could the root scale higher? Possibly, but the report doesn’t really consider it.
The second document discusses how many new TLDs could be added in a year based on the application and delegation process. It is much more limiting. It suggests 200-300 may be added per year. But it also shows a scenario where close to 1,000 could be added.
Based on the current status of new top level domain discussions in the ICANN community, it’s possible we’ll see the first new TLDs added in 2012.