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17 Oct,2011

By A Correspondent

It could open the floodgates to a new type of brandwar.

New generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) are set to be introduced by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers (ICANN) for the categories of brands, communities and cities and regions.

Applications for the first round of new gTLDs will open on January 12, 2012 and run until April 12, 2012. During this time frame, organizations will be able to propose and apply for new generic top-level domains associated with particular interests or business sectors.

Mr Rod Beckstorm, President and CEO, ICANN said this at a seminar organized jointly by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) in New Delhi on Friday.

These domain names are likely to help organizations enhance branding, revenue, security, and user interaction. The availability of new gTLDs will create a unique opportunity for fast-acting organizations to define and acquire their own online namespace. With this brand owners, such as corporations, sports teams, and other high-profile entities can protect their brands and trademarks, enhance brand trust, and create new ways to extend their brand and services to partners, resellers, and customers. Groups of like-minded organizations that share common missions, goals, and challenges can promote commercial or non-commercial offerings to better promote, protect, guide, and serve their communities. Cities and regions can promote greater recognition of their areas, city names, town and other geographical indiactors.

In his opening remarks, Mr N Ravi Shankar, Additional Secretary, DIT said that the seminar is a crucial step that will determine the success of the gTLD initiative for the Indian Internet Community. Although there is no doubt that it signals a positive time for the Internet users and related organizations, there will be a number of issues that will require deliberation for its smooth implementation, security and confidentiality being some of the key elements within that framework. Both stakeholders and the industry have to come forward to iron out the underlying issues and set the standards towards raising the confidence level of the user community, and thereby its wide acceptance.

Dr Govind, Senior Director, DIT highlighted the role of the DIT in creating the ecosystem for the implementation of Indian languages on the Internet. Surpassing geographical boundaries, the Internet has brought forth the new dynamics of access, dependability and communication. Of these, language has probably been one of the key issues due to its direct effect on communication and its subsequent reach. The DIT has proactively recognized this aspect and tried to address the challenges by partnering with the best R&D organizations to seek relevant solutions.

Through this announcement, ICANN has opened up its policy and permitted not only country names and Institutional names but also new Generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs), which were earlier limited to .edu, .com, .org etc.

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