With new TLDs approved, VeriSign gets ready to move forward.
Domain name registries are getting down to business now that ICANN has finally approved the new top level domain name program.
I recently caught up with Pat Kane, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Verisign Naming Services, to discuss what this means for .com and the domain name industry in general.
“All boats will rise together with new gTLDs because this is about growing our industry through competition,” said Kane. He also said competition will be good for the consumer.
Won’t this hurt .com in the long run? Kane doesn’t think so, but stresses that its hard to speculate on exactly what the future holds.
“If you look five years back the world was a very different place,” he said. But five years from now Kane thinks “.com is still in the game and we continue to grow.”
He thinks people that come online for the first time will consider a broad picture of identities to attract an audience.
“It [New gTLDs] will attract people to the domain space for the first time because it’s more relevant to them because it’s in their language or in their script.”
Indeed, VeriSign will likely play a big role in bringing native scripts and languages to the web. The company plans to apply for between 9-20 transliterations of .com in order to offer a resolution service.
“We’re trying to extend the value proposition of .com,” he explained. “It’s not new domain space, it’s a resolution service.”
Plans call for registrants of existing second level .com domains to be able to select .com transliterations to resolve. This extends even to existing Latin-script domains, so Nike can resolve Nike.IDN if it wants to.
VeriSign will consider the commercial feasibility of the .com transliterations it applies for. There are currently about one million registered second level IDN .com domain names. One script only has a few registrations, so don’t expect a top level domain for it. But you can expect .com equivalents in Japanese, Hangul, Chinese, Cyrillic, Arabic, and Hebrew.
VeriSign is also busy working with other new gTLD applicants who want to use its infrastructure services. Kane says applicants are attracted to VeriSign because of its technology and experience building new products. Not only does VeriSign run .com, but it has created a number of value added services such as DDOS protection, Internet Profile Service (which could be used to scan for nexus requirements on a geo domain, for example), and malware scanning.
How successful will new TLDs be?
“I’m looking forward to the different business models that drive true innovation in our space,” he said. “If we’re just about web site content and email, that’s fine, but I think new business models will allow us to do much more than that.”