Tag Archives: top level domains

Singapore’s StarHub to Apply For .STARHUB TLD

The Singaporean communications company StarHub has become the sixth company to publicly announce they will be applying to ICANN for their top level domain, joining organisations such as Unicef, Deloitte, Neustar, Canon, Hitachi and possibly even IBM.It has been predicted by many involved in the domain name business, including one of StarHub’s partners in applying for their TLD, ARI Registry Services, that there will be around 1000 brand applications.StarHub has partnered with technical registry provider ARI Registry Services and digital brand management services provider Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services (DBS) to help it apply for and operate its ‘.brand’ domain name.StarHub aims to create a branded, authoritative corner of the internet devoted completely to its business interests under the ‘.starhub’ TLD. In future, consumers may see new website addresses such as ‘mobile.starhub’, ‘tv.starhub’ and ‘broadband.starhub’ introduced to the brand’s marketing and advertising activity.Mr Oliver Chong, StarHub’s Assistant Vice President of Brand and Marketing Communications, explained the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain will position the brand as a leader in the region.”Our ‘.starhub’ new Top-Level Domain will cement the company’s position as Singapore’s most innovative info-communications company. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation and through this initiative StarHub is one of first companies in the region to publicly commit to the next generation of online navigation,” Mr Chong said.”We believe the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain will deliver clear marketing and advertising benefits to StarHub, such as improved online brand recall and a more intuitive consumer experience with easy to remember domain names such as ‘mobile.starhub’. We also anticipate potential Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits by operating a more targeted and relevant naming system that is clearly matched with our website content,” he said.”Ultimately, we believe ‘.starhub’ will deliver increased consumer trust and loyalty in our digital brand and enable StarHub to future-proof its online presence.”Mr Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services – the company chosen by StarHub to provide technical expertise and infrastructure for the initiative – said it was a bold step forward for the company and reinforces its position as a leader in online innovation.”StarHub is an industry leader and operating a new Top-Level Domain will reinforce its position at the forefront of innovation within the online space. As a proven global registry solution provider, we are extremely excited to be chosen to help support the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain,” Mr Kinderis said. “A simple, memorable and branded Internet domain name like ‘.starhub’ will allow consumers to bypass search engines and go directly to the content they are looking for. I anticipate that this announcement by StarHub will open the floodgates for Asian brands to get on board with this exciting initiative and it will be a major boost to the local digital economy.”Mr Theo Hnarakis, CEO & Managing Director of Melbourne IT – the company chosen by StarHub to provide domain strategy and application consulting services – said the decision to apply for ‘.starhub’ would deliver long-term benefits for the StarHub brand.”The way consumers connect with brands online has changed dramatically in the past few years with e-Commerce booming, mobile Web browsing rising fast and social media usage expanding – all of which has provided brands with opportunities and headaches in equal measure. Vital to the future of nearly every modern company is the ability for customers to easily engage with the business online. Savvy brands like StarHub understand that fact and realise the cornerstone to their future online strategy lies in a ‘.brand’,” Mr Hnarakis said.The application window for new Top-Level Domains opened on 12 January and will close on 12 April 2012 with those intending to apply needing to register with ICANN by 29 March.

Sedari Signs With dot Moscow Bidders

Sedari logo[news release] Sedari has been engaged by the Foundation for Assistance for Internet Technologies and Infrastructure Development (FAITID), a not-for-profit Russian foundation which is preparing applications for the .MOSCOW and .MOCKBA (in Cyrillic) top-level domain names. The implementation of the new top-level domains will make possible websites with addresses such as WWW.COMPANY.MOSCOW and for museums МУЗЕИ.МОСКВА.

“Russia, though cautious in their approach to IDNs in the new TLD program, trusts Sedari with one of their critical national assets – its capital city” said Sedari’s CEO Dr Liz Williams. “This is the first of Sedari’s city domain names to be signed and one of a number of Internationalised Domain Name applicants we are advising. FAITID is a great organization full of enthusiastic and experienced professionals who will offer Muscovites and others exciting opportunities for second-level names in Russia,” Williams continues.

The .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА project is backed by Moscow’s local government and won an impressive showing of support from over 17,000 Internet users in on-line and off-line polls.

“Implementation of any TLD is a complicated project with many issues to resolve” says Dmitry Burkov, FAITID Board Member, “That’s why we’ve chosen Sedari as our strategic international partner for .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА. Sedari management has the experience and industry knowledge on ICANN that makes us confident the company is familiar with all the procedures of the corporation, in particular related to new TLDs. Together with Sedari we’ll make the project for Moscow top-level domains successful giving Russian users more choice in the domain name space.”

FAITID is the Foundation For Assistance For Internet Technologies And Infrastructure Development, a Moscow-based not-for-profit multistakeholder organization. Introduction of the domains for the Russian capital is the initial and key FAITID project. FAITID’s structure involves all interested parties in the process of the TLDs implementation such as local government, the private sector, and Internet community representatives.

Sedari is a consulting and technology company focusing on TLD Business Management. Sedari guides new TLD applicants through the entire continuum of ICANN’s application process and, most importantly, provides robust fully outsourced TLD Business Management to help string owners run their top level domains over the long term.

Minds+Machines Signs Agreement with Bavarian Government to Manage .BAYERN

The Directors of Top Level Domain Holdings Limited have announced that Bayern Connect GmbH, the German operating company in which TLDH has a majority holding, has been exclusively awarded the contract to apply for the .BAYERN gTLD string by the Bavarian State Government.

Top Level Domain Holdings’ wholly owned registry services company, Minds+Machines, will provide the back-end registry services for the proposed new domain. Revenue to the Company will be based on a share of the revenues generated by the domain.

“We view .BAYERN as a very significant win for Bayern Connect and for TLDH,” said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Top Level Domain Holdings.

“We are fully aware of the responsibility entrusted to us and plan to fully support Bayern Connect in its mission, continued Van Couvering. “Germany has 82 million inhabitants, 62 million internet users and 15 million domain names registered under .DE. By comparison, Bavaria has 12.5 million inhabitants. We foresee a long and mutually profitable relationship with Bayern Connect and the people of Bavaria through this initiative.”

Top Level Domain Holdings is currently supporting a portfolio of gTLD applications ranging from geographic applications, wholly-owned or joint venture applications for generic word based domains, and applications by third party clients where Top Level Domain’s registry services company, Minds+Machines, provides the registry service.

The Future of the Internet – Who Decides? Speech by Rod Beckstrom

Rod Beckstrom imageIn this half hour speech, Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and president, gives the keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

CSIS Keynote Speech – The Future of the Internet – Who Decides? speech by Rod Beckstrom

The speech is given during the week in which ICANN began accepting applications for new top level domains.

Beckstrom discusses the multistakeholder model, new top level domains, security and the internet. Regarding the internet, Beckstrom notes there are three things that unify the internet and that have to be coordinated globally for the internet to work – these being domain names, network addresses or IP addresses and protocol and primary registries. He notes these are the three things that make the internet look like one place.

To watch the speech in full, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV5yPwDDAHs.

Right here, right now – the changing the face of the internet by David Taylor, Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells partner and domain name specialist David Taylor explores the likely impact of the introduction of a raft of new high-level internet domain namesThis year will probably be remembered as a landmark one in the history of the internet as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched an application window of 90 days from 12 January during which any entity may apply for a top-level domain name. You might not be aware of this, but it’s a significant development for us all. We are looking at an unprecedented shake-up and expansion of the internet’s addressing system. The rationale is that there is a shortage of internet addresses, or domain names, so in a little over a year from now, we will start seeing new versions such as .paris, .london, .berlin, .music, .hotel, .gay and .blog.While the aim is to enhance diversity, choice, competition and innovation, it has important ramifications for law enforcement and consumers as it may well create a multitude of new opportunities for scammers. It will inevitably also cause a considerable burden on business and brand owners across the UK and further afield. As such it will require a significant shift in the strategies of protecting brands on the internet. It will likely mean that any business with a presence on the internet – getting on to be pretty much every brand – will need to increase its budget in order to continue to protect their brand.If a company has only a single brand then the cost may not be significant. However, if there are 1,000 new domain names and a company seeks to defensively register its one brand in half of those, at between £100 and £200 per registration, that is between £50,000 and £100,000. And that would not include potential costs spent in disputes against cybersquatters. Large corporations could find themselves with figures far in excess of that. Fox Entertainment Group estimated additional costs of $12m at a United States Congressional Hearing in May 2010. It is debatable whether this is an excessive estimate or not, but the fact remains that large companies will need to assign significant resources and money to something that arguably has no positive purpose for them. Many have claimed that it is akin to extortion; the concern for others is the fact that such increased costs may ultimately be passed on to consumers.ICANN’s expansion process has involved considerable debate among global stakeholders from the business community, governments, civil society, registrars and registries largely via eight versions of the so-called applicant guidebook, each one subject to comments from anyone as part of a multi-stakeholder process. Over the course of the last three years in particular, brand owners and representative associations have sought substantial rights protection mechanisms to be included commencing with the creation of a special Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) by ICANN in March 2009 to propose and develop solutions to the issue of trademark protection in the upcoming domain names.Despite the specific rights protection mechanisms put in place, at the end of last year we saw certain parties unhappy with the outcome of this multistakeholder process seeking to bypass ICANN by taking unilateral action via the US Government in an attempt to delay or even derail the process. This has been unsuccessful to date and most brand owners are now seeking to deal with the problem.Having looked at the threats to business and brand owners, one has to acknowledge that the process clearly does provide opportunities for innovation. Potential benefits to the internet include opening the field to users across the globe that hitherto have not been properly served via the ability to create domain names in non-Latin, non-English characters, for instance. Indeed, some brand owners are seizing the opportunity itself and we will be seeing brands applying for new domain names themselves. Many are in the offing, and while most keep such plans highly confidential, some have come out and announced their plans, including Canon, Hitachi and Unicef.So it is not all doom and gloom. But before you think of rushing out to secure one for yourself, do bear in mind that the application fee alone is $185,000.This article was reproduced with permission of the author, David Taylor, Partner at Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Stop Being Defensive Over New TLDs And Market The Heck Out Of Brands, Online And Off: FT

There is much huffing and puffing from trademark holders over the coming new Top Level Domains for which ICANN began seeking accepting applications on 12 January for three months. The Financial Times is the latest to enter the fray with a column titled “Suffix wars are best left to politics and porn.”The columnist notes that “almost everything about the introduction of new internet domain names stinks of self-interest.” The article says “the intermediaries that work with Icann, and have helped clip the coin of big brand-owners for the past 15 years, must know they’re on to a good thing.” The article cites the example of Afilias who note the complexity of TLD applications and then spruik their services to assist in this.It then goes on to say that there were two events in 2011 that dispelled any notion that ICANN has its heart in the right place. These are “the unseemly speed with which Peter Dengate Thrush moved from chairing Icann to chairing Top Level Domain Holdings” and the approval of .XXX, with the registry, ICM Registry offering “companies the opportunity to block anybody else attaching their brand to the suffix, in return for a fee of up to $200 to cover costs. Owners of 80,000 trademarks paid up.”The column notes that the costs for brand owners to run their own TLD may be $500,000 per brand. “But it’s not hard for consultants to convince paranoid executives this is small change compared with the risk to a multinational’s reputation from cybersquatting, piracy and fraud. Extract small change from enough companies and soon you’re running a lucrative protection racket.”The idea that companies should register all permutations of their brands is given short shrift though, with the column describing this as a “never-ending task” and that “what happens in front of the dot is limited only by a potential troublemaker’s imagination. In any case, branding on the web is moving on. Entering and re-entering possible domain names used to be the best way to find a site. But search engines do the guessing now. Even if search is not the key to exploring Webs 5.0 and 6.0, it is hard to imagine typing of precise addresses will be.”The column goes on to note that there are safeguards for new any TLDs and that “companies that decide not to participate in the latest initiative … can object if others register their brand, and the loser in any dispute carries the cost.”The columnist then says that “instead of fretting about threats, chief marketing officers should drop their defensive posture and do what they’re paid for: market the heck out of their existing brand names, online and off.”The FT column is available in full from www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/cf21aad0-4057-11e1-9bce-00144feab49a.html.

.SPORT Selects CORE As Registry Operator

CORE Internet Council of Registrars logoThey might have been among organisations to complain about aspects of ICANN’s plan to introduce new top level domains, but the International Olympic Committee is part of a group that is applying for the .sport top level domain utilising services of the CORE Internet Council of Registrars.

The decision was taken as a result of a mandate taken from the members of SportAccord, which consists of 90 International Sports Federations and 15 sports organisations and with the support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF). SportAccord selected CORE as their partner to provide the technical and administrative platform for the registry operation with the ultimate objective to protect Sports’ values and the interests of the Sports Movement and stakeholders.

“We are extremely happy to appoint CORE to apply and operate the future .sport domain name” says Vincent Gaillard, Director General of SportAccord, “we were looking for a partner that fully understands and endorses the values, culture and principles of Sport, and we are convinced that with CORE, we have found exactly the right partner”.

Consistent with its role as the umbrella organization for Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as organisers of sporting events, SportAccord will be the Registry Operator of the .sport top-level domain, working in consultation with all community stakeholders.

“It is a privilege to be able to contribute to a TLD led by the Sport Community.” says Amadeu Abril i Abril, Chief Policy Adviser at CORE. “The purpose of the CORE Association has always been to create TLDs in the public trust. The community-based focus of the .sport TLD is the best way to maximize its value for the cause of Sport while avoiding negative externalities.”

SportAccord has already started the process of setting up a Governing body for .sport so as to achieve effective community-based policy development. The Governing Council will be composed of representatives of Sport governing authorities (International Federations and IOC representatives) and Sport community representatives for athletes, sponsors, amateurs, fans and youth.

As a consequence it is intended the .sport TLD will truly be led by the Sports world and developed around the values, culture and principles of Sport.

Brands Owners Expected To Defy US-Based Trade Associations And Apply For TLDs

ICANN is to begin accepting applications for new generic Top Level Domains from tomorrow (12 January) with indications being that there will be somewhere between 1000 and 1500 applications during the three month application window.Defying attempts by largely US-based advertising and marketing organisations such as the Association of National Advertisers to stop or delay the programme, both Melbourne IT and ARI Registry Services (formerly AusRegistry International) have said they expect around two-thirds of applications to be from brand names.”Big brands from around the world have already engaged with Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services to help them apply for more than 100 new TLDs,” said Theo Hnarakis, Melbourne IT CEO and Managing Director.”Big name companies in the financial sector, plus the retail and consumer goods industries have shown the most interest in applying so far, and roughly a quarter of the companies we are assisting are members of the Fortune Global 500. Applicants working with Melbourne IT also include members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers. We expect more brands to follow now the application window has opened and the program’s final application deadline of April 12 looms nearer,” Hnarakis said.Entrepreneurs seeking to profit from generic terms like .shop or .hotel are expected to make up around 30 per cent of applications while the remaining ten per cent will come from governments and other groups wanting to represent their city or region online with a geographic TLD like .sydney, .paris or .tokyo.”Analysis of more than 400 clients we’ve engaged with globally over the past year shows technology and finance companies in Asia Pacific and the US lead the pack,” said Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services.Strongest interest has come from businesses in the Asia Pacific region (52%), followed by the United States (29%), Europe (10%), Middle East (7%) and Africa (2%).”The first round of new domains will be dominated by technology brands (20%), as the IT industry recognises the huge opportunity to innovate. This will be closely followed by banks and other financial service providers (11%) who are jumping at the opportunity for the increased online security and trust that comes with a .brand domain,” Kinderis said.Demand for new TLDs is likely to driven in part due to the difficulty in obtaining desirable domain names for new businesses and brands.”It takes about an average of 50 attempts until you actually secure a domain name that might exist because so many of them have already been registered,” Hnarakis told Sky News.”Now’s the perfect time for brands to consider a new Top-Level Domain as part of their long-term digital marketing strategy,” said Kinderis.Speculating on the results, Kinderis said the attractive sales and marketing benefits of new TLDs has likely appealed to the IT, finance and retail industries as a way to differentiate themselves -especially important in light of the economic downturn.”A .brand new Top-Level Domain will deliver improved trust, leadership, customer engagement and message recall by providing a direct connection between the customer and the brand experience online. The rapid growth of e-commerce and online retail also complements the move to a .brand domain name. For example, in the near future we may see short, relevant and memorable domain names such as iphone.apple, creditcards, .hsbc and shoes.nike.”However, both Kinderis and Hnarakis warn that potential applicants need to act quickly if they want to reap these benefits as it is unlikely there will be another round of applications for at least two or three years.

ICANN Community to Meet and Greet in Washington, D.C., January 10

ICANN logoAs a member of the ICANN community, you are invited to attend an informal “meet and greet” with ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom in Washington, D.C. Mr. Beckstrom will be in town as part of ICANN’s ongoing efforts to promote awareness of the launch of the January 12 open application process for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs).

We hope you can join us to connect with colleagues across the Internet community and discuss the next exciting evolution of the internet.

WHAT: Meet and Greet with ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom
WHEN:
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
WHERE:
The Atrium Room, Old Ebbitt Grill (cash bar)
675 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
www.ebbitt.com

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-2-09jan12-en.htm

Join ICANN for a Discussion on the Next Big .thing New Top-Level Domains and the Expanding Global Internet

ICANN logoAbout This Event

On January 12th, ICANN will open a process that could trigger a dramatic expansion of the Internet and launch a new era of online innovation.

We are familiar with .com, .org, .net, among the roughly two dozen generic top-level domains currently occupying the Internet’s addressing system. Hundreds, possibly thousands of new gTLDs, could be moving in within a year.

The program is not without risks and not for everyone. Understanding the marketing opportunities, the application process, and the program’s built-in trademark protections is important even if a new gTLD is not for you.

Join ICANN for an informational panel discussion that will focus on:

  • The post-application launch timeline and process
  • Potential marketing opportunities
  • Trademark Protections & Dispute Resolution

The panelist also will take questions from the audience.

Panel Discussion Details

Moderator: Naseem Javed, ABC Namebank

Panelists:

  • Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO, ICANN
  • Roland LaPlante, Senior VP and CMO, Affilias
  • Kristina Rosette, Special Counsel, Covington & Burling

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11

Time: 9 am – 10:30am

Place: Newseum
Knight Conference Center, Rms 705/706
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20001

RSVP: andrew.robertson@edelman.com

Phone Number: 888/NEWSEUM (888/639-7386)

Directions:  http://www.newseum.org/plan-your-visit/directions/index.html

About ICANN

To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn’t have one global Internet.

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.

ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-09jan12-en.htm