Thursday, January 12, 2012

New gTLD program officially launched!

As of today, ICANN has opened the application process for new gTLDs! Applications for new generic top level domains are now being accepted through April 12, 2012. This is the first time that internationalized domain name (IDN) based gTLD applications are being accepted. Today sub-gTLD domain names may be defined in internationalized format and several country code TLDs (ccTLDs) have been in production for some time, but this is the first time that gTLDs may be defined.

So what's the big deal? Depending on what gTLDs are accepted, organizations may desire to register subdomains beneath new gTLDs in ASCII or IDN format. Considering that every marketing message from an organization includes a website address, advertisting a fully native lanugage URL (and of course content!) may facilitate marketing communications with audiences in certain parts of the world. For example, if your organization is attempting to reach or attract residents in India and a new gTLD is created using the native language Devanagari alphabet, creating a subdomain using the Devanagari alphabet may facilitate this reachability. Putting your information in your target customers' terms, down to the URL, can help improve communications and provide a competitive advantage.

Configuring DNS with IDNs requires no upgrades of DNS, but it does require conversion of native language characters, represented in Unicode, into ASCII which is required in DNS configuration files and the DNS protocol. This conversion process is a bit complex but the IPControl IPAM system automates this conversion to save time. If you'd like more details on IDN conversion for DNS configuration, please see our IDNA white paper, webinar replay or visit the ICANN gTLD website.

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