Advantages of new generic Top Level Domain names
One of the strongest arguments for opening the market to a greater number of new gTLDs is for
entities wanting to create new services which they believe can be best facilitated by using new gTLDs or
sTLDs. In ICANN's first round of new gTLDs `service specific' proposals were not among the successful
candidates. That being said new services have emerged under some of the new gTLDs. One example of a
new service, to date, is the fostering of international domain names under
. Another is the potential use
in connection with flight and airport information. A prototype service was piloted from October to
November 2003 in Geneva. Users could type in their flight number, expressed as a
URL and directly
access the information pertaining to the flight number entered. Examples included: http://BA723.aero or
A number of the sTLDs
nominated for ICANN's consideration in 2004 propose to offer new services.
All these services could seemingly be operated at the second level but the prospective registries clearly
believe that they would be best facilitated with a TLD. For the proponents of such names a TLD appears to
represent a superior marketing tool rather than being a technological imperative.
Importantly, many of the
traditional opponents of new TLDs may be among the largest beneficiaries of these services. One example
might be business use of the proposed sTLD aimed at facilitating the creation of content sites specific for
mobile devices or the proposed service with spam free e mail. It must also be said that there is opposition
in some parts of the Internet community to service or terminal specific gTLDs.
While ccTLDs provide an alternative to the limited number of gTLDs, there is a good argument for
saying that equity is not well served by a first come, first served process, if the domain name system is
characterised by scarcity. As an increasing number of countries, outside developed countries, increase
Internet access and develop greater Internet capabilities equity may be best served by also creating
opportunities for users in those countries to register names under new gTLDs.
It might be argued that by opening up a wider variety of gTLDs greater competition will be provided
to ccTLDs. The proposed
if approved, would provide a new option for users of ccTLDs in that
The already approved
will provide an alternative to ccTLDs in Europe. On the other hand,
some registries may see names such as
, as complementary to their businesses rather than competitive.
Most of the ccTLD registries in the Asian region welcome the creation of
and have signed letters of
intent to join the DotAsia sponsoring organisation.
Some ccTLDs are clearly aimed at global markets or specific market segments in developed countries
(Coco s Keeling Islands) and
domain, for example, is the country code for
Laos but is marketed to users in Los Angeles.
In addition to these two domains, Network Solutions
(South Georgia & South Sandwich
(British Virgin Islands),
(Turks & Caicos Islands). In the case of
names such as news.tv are offered at prices up to USD 1 million per name.
registry also offers
single letter names and single numbers which are not available under traditional gTLDs. Second level
registrations, such as h.tv and k.tv or 2.tv and 7.tv, are available for registration for USD 10 000.
Apart from the ccTLDs aimed at global markets some appear to be offering services to market
segments targeted by sTLDs. One example is
(Palau) which appears to be aimed at shared
registry markets itself as the `personal Web' domain rather than as a country code
Other examples are domains that might be associated with particular services such as
the case of
users in Moldova can register a name, for USD 59 per annum, through a state owned
company. An alternative company markets
to the global healthcare industry with prices ranging from
USD 200 to USD 300 per annum from some registrars.
Given that an increasing number of ccTLDs are
targeting specific market segments there may be benefits in providing greater competition from new