Generic Top-level Domain Information
A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use in the Domain Name System of the Internet. It is visible to Internet users as the suffix at the end of a domain name.
Overall, IANA currently distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:
- infrastructure top-level domain (arpa)
- country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
- internationalized top-level domains (IDNs)
- generic top-level domains (gTLD)
The core group of generic top-level domains consists of the com, info, net, and org domains. In addition, the domains biz, name, and pro are also considered generic; however, these are designated as restricted, because registrations within them require proof of eligibility within the guidelines set for each.
Historically, the group of generic top-level domains included domains, created in the early development of the domain name system, that are now sponsored by designated agencies or organizations and are restricted to specific types of registrants. Thus, domains edu, gov, int, and mil are now considered sponsored top-level domains, much like the many newly created themed domain names (e.g., jobs). The entire group of domains that do not have a geographic or country designation (see country-code top-level domain) is still often referred to by the term generic TLDs.
The initial set of top-level domains, defined by RFC 920 in October 1984, was a set of "general purpose domains": com, edu, gov, mil, org. The net domain was added with the first implementation of these domains. The com, net, and org TLDs, despite their originally specific goals, are now open for use for any purpose.
In November 1988, another TLD was introduced, int. This TLD was introduced in response to NATO's request for a domain name which adequately reflected its character as an international organization. It was also originally planned to be used for some Internet infrastructure databases, such as ip6.int, the IPv6 equivalent of in-addr.arpa. However, in May 2000, the Internet Architecture Board proposed to exclude infrastructure databases from the int domain. All new databases of this type would be created in arpa (a legacy domain from the conversion of ARPANET), and existing usage would move to arpa wherever feasible, which led to the use of ip6.arpa for IPv6 reverse lookups.
By the mid-1990s there was discussion of introduction of more TLDs. Jon Postel, as head of IANA, invited applications from interested parties. In early 1995, Postel created "Draft Postel", an Internet draft containing the procedures to create new domain name registries and new TLDs. Draft Postel created a number of small committees to approve the new TLDs. Because of the increasing interest, a number of large organizations took over the process under the Internet Society's umbrella. This second attempt involved setting up a temporary organization called the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). On February 4, 1997, the IAHC issued a report ignoring the Draft Postel recommendations and instead recommended the introduction of seven new TLDs (arts, firm, info, nom, rec, store, and web). However, these proposals were abandoned after the U.S. government intervened.
In September 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created to take over the task of managing domain names. After a call for proposals (August 15, 2000) and a brief period of public consultation, ICANN announced on November 16, 2000 its selection of the following seven new TLDs: aero, biz, coop, info, museum, name, pro.
Biz, info, and museum were activated in June 2001, name and coop in January 2002, pro in May 2002, and aero later in 2002. pro became a gTLD in May 2002, but did not become fully operational until June 2004. xxx was approved in March 2011 and went into operation on April 15, 2011.
ICANN added further TLDs, starting with a set of sponsored top-level domains. The application period for these was from December 15, 2003 until March 16, 2004, and resulted in ten applications. Of these, ICANN has approved asia, cat, jobs, mobi, tel and travel, all of which are now in operation. xxx was finally approved in March 2011, one year after an independent review found ICANN had broken its own bylaws when it rejected its application in 2007. Of the remaining applications (post, mail and an alternative tel proposal), post is still under consideration.
On June 26, 2008, during the 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting in Paris, ICANN started a new process of TLD naming policy to take a "significant step forward on the introduction of new generic top-level domains." This program envisions the availability of many new or already proposed domains, as well as a new application and implementation process.  Observers believed that the new rules could result in hundreds of new gTLDs being registered.
Unrestricted generic top-level domains are those domains that are available for registrations by any person or organization for any use. The prominent gTLDs in this group are com, net, org, and info. However, info was the only one of these, and the first, that was explicitly chartered as unrestricted. The others initially had a specific target audience. However, due to lack of enforcement, they acquired an unrestricted character, which was later grandfathered.
The term sponsored top-level domain is derived from the fact that these domains are based on theme concepts proposed by private agencies or organizations that establish and enforce rules restricting the eligibility of registrants to use the TLD. For example, the aero TLD is sponsored by the Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques, which limits registrations to members of the air-transport industry.
A geographic TLD (or GeoTLD) is a generic top-level domain using the name of or invoking an association with a geographical, geopolitical, ethnic, linguistic or cultural community. As of 2009, only two GeoTLDs existed: the sponsored domains .cat, for the Catalan language and culture, and .asia, but many others have been proposed (see also proposed top-level domain).
New top-level domains
The introduction of several generic top-level domains over the years has not stopped the demand for more gTLDs and ICANN has received many proposals for establishment of new top-level domains. Proponents have argued for a variety of models ranging from adoption of policies for unrestricted gTLDs (see above) to chartered gTLDs for specialized uses by specialized organizations.
A new initiative started in 2008 foresees a stringent application process for new domains that adhere to a restricted naming policy for open gTLDs, community-based domains, and internationalized domain names (IDNs). According to a guidebook published by ICANN, a community-based gTLD is "a gTLD that is operated for the benefit of a defined community consisting of a restricted population." All other domains fall under the category open gTLD, which "is one that can be used for any purpose consistent with the requirements of the application and evaluation criteria, and with the registry agreement. An open gTLD may or may not have a formal relationship with an exclusive registrant or user population. It may or may not employ eligibility or use restrictions."
The establishment of new gTLDs under this program requires the operation of a domain registry and a demonstration of technical and financial capacity for such operations and the management of registrar relationships.
A fourth version of the draft applicant guidebook (DAG4) was published in May 2011.
June 20, 2011 vote on expansion of gTLDs
On June 20, 2011 ICANN's board voted to end most restrictions on the generic top-level domain names (gTLD) from the 22 currently available. Companies and organizations will be able to choose essentially arbitrary top-level Internet domains. The use of non-Latin characters (such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, etc.) will also be allowed in gTLDs. ICANN will begin accepting applications for new gTLDs on January 12, 2012. Entertainment and financial services brands are most likely to apply for new gTLDs for their brands, according to a survey by registrar Melbourne IT. The initial price to apply for a new gTLD will be $185,000, with an annual fee of $25,000. ICANN expects that the first batch of new gTLDs will be operational at the beginning of 2013. ICANN expects the new rules to significantly change the face of the internet. Peter Thrush, chairman of ICANN's board of directors stated after the vote: "Today's decision will usher in a new internet age. We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration. Unless there is a good reason to restrain it, innovation should be allowed to run free." Industry analysts predicted 500–1000 new gTLDs, mostly reflecting names of companies and products, but also cities and generic names like bank and sport. According to Theo Hnarakis, chief executive of Melbourne IT, the decision "will allow corporations to better take control of their brands. For example, apple or ipad would take customers right to those products." However, some companies have ruled out a branded gTLD.
Opposition to gTLD expansion
Following the vote to expand gTLDs, many trade associations and large companies, led by the Association of National Advertisers, formed the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight. The coalition opposes the expansion of gTLDs, citing "its deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners."  In a December 9, 2011 statement to the US Congress, National Restaurant Association vice president Scott DeFife stated, "Even beyond the financial toll the gTLD program will exact on millions of U.S. businesses, the Association believes that ICANN’s program will confuse consumers by spreading Internet searches across hundreds or even thousands of new top-level domains." Another opponent is Esther Dyson, the founding chairperson of ICANN, who wrote that the expansion "will create jobs [for lawyers, marketers and others] but little extra value."
- ^ "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) root database". IANA. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- ^ The IANA's File of iTLD Requests
- ^ "draft-postel-iana-itld-admin-01 - New Registries and the Delegation of International Top Level Domains". IETF Tools. 1996-08-22. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- ^ Kevin Murphy (April 17, 2011). "XXX domain names go live". The Register. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
- ^ "TLDs | sTLD Information Page". ICANN. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- ^ "ICANN Board meeting decision to approve .xxx". ICANN. April 18, 2011.
- ^ "Independent Review Panel judgment on .xxx". February 19, 2010.
- ^ "32nd International Public ICANN Meeting". ICANN. June 22, 2008.
- ^ "New gTLDs Program". ICANN. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
- ^ "Biggest Expansion in gTLDs Approved for Implementation". ICANN. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- ^ ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains, CircleID, June 26, 2008.
- ^ "Names Council Solicitation of Comments for Consideration of New Generic Top-Level Domains". ICANN. April 1, 2000.
- ^ a b "New gTLD Program: Draft Applicant Guidebook (Draft RFP)". ICANN. October 24, 2008.
- ^ "May 2011 New gTLD Applicant Guidebook".
- ^ a b New Internet Name Rule Opens Door to Huge Changes. Voice of America, June 20, 2011. Accessed June 20, 2011
- ^ a b c d Internet minders OK vast expansion of domain names, Associated Press, June 20, 2011. Accessed June 20, 2011
- ^ Who will apply for gTLDs, Managing Internet IP, June 21, 2011.
- ^ The Web Domain Name Shake up and its Impact on Users, QueryClick, July 5, 2011. Accessed July 8, 2011
- ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/20/icann-domains-expansion-annnounced
- ^ "Pepsi rules out .brand gTLD". Managing Internet IP. June 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
- ^ "The Top 10 Proposed New Top Level Domains So Far". Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- ^ "Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight information page". Association of National Advertisers. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- ^ "Restaurant industry registers opposition to new Internet domain name plan". Washington Restaurant Association web page. Washington Restaurant Association. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- ^ Dyson, Esther. "What's in a Domain Name?". Project Syndicate. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
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generic top - level domains
Sun May 19 12:00:03 2013
Cynthia Boris, internetwebsitedesign.biz
ICANN, the governing body for all domain names, is about to award 2,000 generic , top - level domain names to the person who got their application in before anyone else. It's more complicated than that, but that's the core of it. The domains are mostly generic words such as (dot) insurance, (dot) church , (dot) duck. The list also includes brand specific names such as (dot) Chevrolet and (dot) Comcast. Then, there are names that could be associated with a brand such as ...
Sun May 19 12:00:04 2013