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Vistaprint submits two applications for .WEBS as a new gTLD, one as a community application

June 13th, 2012 Comments off

Vistaprint submitted four applications in ICANN’s new gTLD process as revealed today:

VISTA Vistaprint Limited
VISTAPRINT Vistaprint Limited
WEBS Vistaprint Limited
WEBS Vistaprint Limited

The interesting part about their applications is that they applied for .WEBS as a “normal” new gTLD application and as a Community application according to the list of applications published by ICANN. It seems that this may be a play to increase their chances of getting this gTLD, however there are no other applicants competing with them.

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Afilias to support over 300 applications in .city, .brand and .niche new gTLDs

June 12th, 2012 Comments off

Ireland based Afilias Limited has officially announced that the company will be bringing over 300 new top level domains to the internet. Currently Afilias is best known as the operator of the .INFO, .MOBI and .PRO top level domains (TLD) and a leading provider of registry technical services. The company’s technology will support 305 new gTLD’s, mostly brands, specific niches and geographical locations/cities. The company didn’t reveal the full list of which gTLD’s it is applying for or supporting, but tomorrow’s ICANN big reveal will publicize all of this information, at last.

Afilias New gTLD Domains

According to the press release, the applications span a range of new TLD ideas, and include 18 internationalized TLDs (Chinese and Cyrillic for example), 4 community focused domains, 4 geographic domains and more than 170 of individual brands and/or companies.

The remaining applications represent a wide variety of generic domain strings that are designed to simplify internet navigation by helping users discover focused, easily identifiable content. Although the list primarily contains the TLDs of its registry services customers, Afilias itself has applied for a range of strings in verticals as diverse as energy and media. Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President and CMO at Afilias said:

“Afilias is helping a wide range of global entities apply for their TLD, including the .eco and .hotel teams as announced previously. The bulk of the Afilias-supported applications are from three of ICANN’s five regions: North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. While these three regions will likely account for most of the overall applications to ICANN, Afilias applications have a bit more European focus due to the European base of our business.

In addition to technical support, several of these strings will leverage our complete Managed Registry Service, more fully capitalizing on Afilias’ experience as an ICANN-Designated Registry Operator. We couldn’t be more excited about the growth that all of these new domain names will bring to the Internet in the years ahead. We are looking forward to helping our customers get their TLDs approved and successfully launched, and also to bringing our own new domains to market.”

Afilias currently provides registry and DNS services for 17 top level domains and supports more than 20 million registrations, including almost 8 million .INFO domains and 1 million .MOBI domains registered worldwide. In addition, Afilias supports .ORG, .AERO, .ASIA, .PRO, XXX, .AG (Antigua and Barbuda), .BZ (Belize), .GI (Gibraltar), .HN (Honduras), .IN (India), .LC (St. Lucia), .ME (Montenegro), .MN (Mongolia), .SC (the Seychelles), .VC (St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

Afilias New Generic Top Level Domains

About Afilias

Afilias Limited is an Irish Limited company with international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. In addition Afilias maintains sales offices in London, England and Vancouver, Canada. Afilias also maintains a number of global wholly owned subsidiaries including: Afilias Canada Corp. which houses its operational facilities in Toronto, Ontario; Afilias USA Inc. which maintains administrative and operational offices in the U.S. near Philadelphia, PA; and Afilias India Pvt. Ltd which houses operational offices in New Delhi, India.

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ICANN confirms new gTLD batching system will be open for business, Digital Archery set to kick off

June 7th, 2012 Comments off

In an official announcement, ICANN has confirmed that Digital Archery aka Batching Process will begin June 8th, 2012 (tomorrow). The batching process will determine which new gTLD applications are going to be processed in the first batch, the second batch, etc. It will be done by assignment of a timestamp, and the formation of batches.

According to ICANN, the batching system is targeted to open on June 8th 2012 at 00:01 UTC. The system will close at 23:59 UTC on June 28 2012, in other words it will be open for business for around three weeks. The target date for posting the order of the batches is July 11, 2012. The announcement will be eagerly awaited.

“Timestamp assignments will be done using the TLD Application System (TAS). All applicants must use their TAS credentials to log in, read and accept the batching rules, indicate their batching preference, and select their target date and time. Once these steps are completed applicants should log back into TAS to hit the target time and generate a secondary timestamp. Users will have access to a testing feature to gauge the secondary timestamp system’s response time.”

Batching formation will take into account an applicant’s: batching preference, geographic region and secondary timestamp; and contention among identical and/or similar applications, which we already know there will be plenty of.

ICANN Batching Digital Archery

ICANN says that they have tried to provide a stable and secure platform for the batching system to be effective. Users will connect to the Citrix XenApp high-availability cluster and will then log into the batching system to complete the process.

Applicants will be required to agree to a set of Batching Rules, including an agreement that reads: “ICANN reserves the right to delay an application to the last batch or to reject an application entirely if ICANN reasonably determines that the applicant abused the batching system or intentionally interfered with the performance of the system or any other applicant’s use of the system.”

ICANN has also posted several additional Digital Archery resources on it’s website to inform applicants about the batching process. The newly available material includes a FAQ, video demo of the system, user guide, batching details and rules, and a fact sheet of batching basics. Information on security, infrastructure, and operations is also available in these newly released materials.

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$350 Million USD received by ICANN for 2,091 Applications

May 5th, 2012 Comments off

While ICANN latest update on the security loophole in the TLD Application System (TAS) doesn’t really hold any new information regarding the actual fixing of the problem and the updated new gTLD timeline, ICANN has decided to release more information from the time the system was taken offline:

  • 2,091 applications were either submitted or in progress, which is well beyond the budgeted 500 applications (even though of course there will be several applications for the same strings)
  • 214 potential applications were registered prior to the March 29th payment cut-off, but payments have not yet been received
  • Approximately USD $350 million in fees for applications for new gTLDs have been received by the not-for-profit organization

ICANN expects to complete the notification process on or before Tuesday, May 8th, 2012.

See the full updated as emailed by ICANN below.

TAS Interruption – Update (4 May 2012)

Statement by Akram Atallah, COO

4 May 2012

The TLD Application System, or TAS, held 2091 applications – either submitted or in progress – when it was taken offline on 12 April 2012.

In addition, there are 214 potential applications that were registered prior to the 29 March cut-off date, but whose payments have not yet been received or reconciled.

ICANN has received approximately USD $350 million in fees for applications for new gTLDs.

As we have reported, we are in the process of notifying applicants whether they were affected by the software glitch, and plan to complete this process on or before Tuesday, 8 May. Shortly after that process is complete, we will announce the schedule for reopening TAS and completing the application period. Once the system is reopened, we will keep it open for at least five business days.

We appreciate your understanding as we work to bring the TLD application system back online.

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