Currently there are around 300 approved top level domains. The top level domains are .com, .gov, .net, .in, .ca and etc. Top level domain is a part of internet name space to uniquely identify a web site in the internet. For instance, blog.prabasiva.com uniquely identifies a site in internet and top level domain of the web site is .com.
All internet name space are managed and controlled by ICANN and it is not-for-profit cooperation with participants from all over the world. The main objective is to develop policy on the internet’s unique identifiers.
History was made in this week when ICANN approved an open name space for the top level domain. It means an internet name space can have top level domains like .bank, .school, .college, .university or trademark names like .td, .starbucks, .google, .microsoft or personal names like .gates, .raji, .darshan, .deepak and etc.
There is around 350 page document published by ICANN on guidelines and procurement process to acquire new top level domains.
Pros & Cons analysis:
1. Security++++: Open top level domain name spaces will minimize web site phishing. In the current top level domain, there are lots of website phishing threats. In the current environment, it is easy to create a fake sites that impersonalize the legitmate site. Retaining the ownership of the top level domain by the corporation completely eliminates the phishing threats.
2.Social Network++:Provides a local platform to establish communities. Brand based communities will be established within brand site. It may be linked back to existing social networks. As the adoption of the brand based communities grows, the social networking sites like facebook will be devalued. Potential monopoly threat from facebook will be reduced due to the emerging brand based community sites.
3.Startup+:Provides an opportunities for new start ups. Sites like .cars, .motorcycle, .banks, .autoloan will be owned by domain managers who already exist in the market (like godaddy.com) or new Startup Company can own these domains and sell the domain sub-domains. There will be intense land grab competition to acquire the common names like .cars, .computer, .tablet, .mobile and etc. It also provides an opportunity for new startup to provide full servicing in that space. For instance, if a new company owns .autoloan, they can sell the sub-domain to smaller banks, credit unions and also they can sell auto loan platform to them. It will boost the business cloud offering in the market. There are numerous startup business opportunties.
1. Cost—–The initial registration cost is $180K and yearly fees is around $25K. There is no gurantee that the application will be approved for all applicants and if the application is rejected the application fee will not be refunded. Cost may be affordable for fortune 100 companies to register their brand. The cost may not be affordable for a startup and it has a very significant risk to reach zero value for the initial capital investment.
2.Historical data—-:.job top level domain was available for last few years. It didn’t make a significant impact to the jobs sites.
3. User Experience–:Pagerank assignment to the existing sites will have an impact if the top level domains are changed. There are technical solution to redirect the existing domains to redirect to a new top level domains. However, the non technical end user will be confused with new top level domains.
1.Corporation to buy the top level domain to retain their brand identity in the internet.
2. Corporations to buy the top level domains who are in the race to reach the dominance in a market place (like tablet, universal single sign on, and etc) to grab top level immediately.
3. Service providers who are in dominance in a market place (like autoloan) or close to dominance are to buy the top level domains to minimize or eliminate the future potential market risk.
4. Startups who are getting into the full service spectrum are to buy the top level domains.