By Tony Kirsch
I was in Singapore last week to witness the ICANN Board officially approve the biggest change to the Internet in its history.
In an historic ‘special meeting’ held on Monday 20 June, the ICANN Board voted overwhelmingly to approve the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program and open applications in January 2012. Yes, that’s right a touch over six months away.
With the program now officially approved and a clear timeline set for launch, there is a new sense of urgency to finalise your new TLD strategy and prepare yourself for this revolutionary shift. The pace of the game might have been a little slow up until now, but I have no doubt that there will be a mad rush to the finish line with six months until the application window opens.
After years of waiting in the locker room, it’s now game on!
The game plan
There is literally a marketplace of hundreds of new TLD applicants now scrambling to finalise their strategies. We know this because we are working with the world’s leading organisations, entrepreneurs and governments to help them implement their new TLDs.
It’s important that potential applicants understand now is the time to move. There is easily six months’ worth of work to complete to get a new TLD application ready for the 12 January 2012 opening window.
You do not want to leave this to the last minute.
Your game plan for maximising this unique opportunity needs to take account of the limited time available in the pre and post application timeline. The time to act is now.
Below is a breakdown of the ICANN launch timeline:
• 20 June 2011: ICANN’s global communications period begins
• 12 January 2012: Application window opens
• 12 April 2012: Application window closes
The New TLD marketplace
I can’t stress how important it is for potential applicants to look to the future. Once new TLDs are ready to go live, applicants will face fierce competition with the marketplace for Top-Level Domains set to increase dramatically. Given this, a strong business, sales and marketing plan will be a critical element of any new TLD’s success.
Similarly for .brand TLDs, your expenditure should be coupled with some initiatives to really reap the rewards of your innovative thinking, not just leave it on the shelf in some defensive manner.
While the industry has been focused on the approval of the program, we at AusRegistry International have been looking to the future. We want to ensure that our clients are able to create services that are successful not only in a technological sense, but in a highly competitive environment too. This is why we have formed strategic alliances with leading service providers from their respective fields, including the world’s leading marketing authority, Jeffrey Hayzlett, and leading domain name industry advisory firm, Crowell & Moring. The expert knowledge from these alliances will perfectly complement our world class domain name registry service offering and we’re proud to be working with these organisations at such a critical time in our industry.
The April 2012 deadline is now looming and AusRegistry International is perfectly placed to handle the entire new Top-Level Domain application process.
Please feel free to contact me for a confidential discussion about your new TLD strategy.