When the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began accepting applications for new top-level web domains last year, hundreds of companies and organizations scrambled to plot their escape from the world of “website.com” to new domain possibilities, such as “website.microsoft” or “website.ibm.”
Nearly 2,000 organizations applied for 1,400 top-level domains, but we haven’t known exactly when the new addresses will be rolled out — until now.
ICANN’s CEO Fadi Chehade told the Associated Press in an interview published Monday that the first of the new domains will start appearing on the web around the middle of this year, followed by a gradual release throughout the rest of 2013.
ICANN will begin the process with non-English domains, then release English domains that have only been claimed by one applicant, such as .acer for the technology company or .airbus for the aircraft manufacturer, in the weeks following.
Domains that have been requested by more than one applicant, such as .technology, will take longer to roll out as ICANN decides which applicant receives them.
Rachel Haot, the City of New York’s Chief Digital Officer, said during a recent presentation in New York City that she expects the city to have the .nyc domain by late 2013 or early 2014.
As an example of a potential use for the new domains, New York City will make .nyc available to local businesses and residents.
Organizations that applied for top-level domains had to shell out a one-time fee of $185,000 and will be docked an annual fee of $25,000 to maintain ownership of the domain.
Trademark owners that decide against registering a new top-level domain but still want to protect their brand can pay an annual fee of $150 to protect their namesake.