New Top-Level Domains

One of CORE's statutory objectives is the launch of new top-level domains (TLDs). An ongoing new TLDs launch process is expected to start in 2009. CORE currently works several new TLD initiatives in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

The ICANN new TLD processes

The central resources of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) are managed by ICANN which, as a result is also responsible for the introduction of new top-level domains (TLDs).

TLDs are currently divided into two kinds: generic, sponsored and country code TLDs (ccTLDs). In the current definition, aa TLD is considered to be a gTLD if it is not based on an ISO 3166 code for a country or territory. As ccTLDs and gTLDs belong to different legal frameworks, the introduction of new gTLDs and ccTLDs have separate processes.

Introduction of new ccTLDS

The introduction of ccTLDs is always based on an ISO 3166 code element representing a country or territory. If a new code element is assigned because a new country is recognized (a recent example is ME for Montenegro), then IANA can delegate a new ccTLD based on the current principles for ccTLDs.

Introduction of new gTLDs

On June 20 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the plan for the introduction of new generic Internet extensions.

The upcoming application window will be open from January 12, 2012 to April 12, 2012. Additional application rounds will be conducted on a regular basis thereafter. Applicants may be for-profit or not-for-profit entities or government authorities.

The new plan allows an unlimited number of new Internet top-level domains (TLDs) to be introduced at the initiative of companies, not-for-profit entities or government bodies.

CORE expects large number of TLDs to be applied for. The will go live use from 2013 onward. CORE itself prepares and/or supports a number of gTLD initiatives, including projects by major international cities, language or cultural communities. CORE also supports TLD initiatives for shared organizational infrastructure of specific industries. CORE makes its systems available to provide technical TLD operation services to companies who wish to use their brands on the top level of the DNS as a way to maximize the potential of their brand.

The first generic extensions, .com, .net, .org, and .edu were introduced in 1985. In 2000, ICANN approved 7 more extensions, followed by another 9 after 2004. Contrary to the 2000 and 2004 rounds, the coming rounds will not be restricted in terms of purpose or number. Moreover, there will be no absolute requirement for registries to allow third-party registrants.

CORE has been created in 1997 to support the launch of new gTLDs. It has participated in ICANN’s policy development from the outset. CORE currently provides technical registry services for two gTLDs and operates a neutral shared channel connecting registries to registrars for all existing gTLDs and many ccTLDs.