ICANN Says New gTLDs Will Go Live in Early 2013

Rhett Pardon

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — By this time next year, new generic top-level domains will find their way to the root server and go live, according to ICANN's latest timeline.

ICANN, which on Sunday will start taking applications for new gTLDs, says that the new program forecasts "a busy 2012.”

"Some new gTLDs will clear the process late in the year, and be ready for delegation in early 2013," ICANN said in an announcement. "Other new gTLDs will have a longer path."

In the online application system, an applicant must first register by March 29 and then apply by April 12, the last day ICANN accepts applications, including all evaluation fees, for a gTLD.

ICANN said it will then shift focus to processing and evaluating the applications received through a "reveal day" where there will be an application comment process and objection period.

There will be an initial evaluation, followed by potential later phases for complex applications.

"In the ideal case, an application that has encountered no problems has passed evaluation by [Nov. 30]," ICANN said. "The applied-for string can begin a transition that will result in being delegated into the root zone, and eventually the string will be live and reachable on the Internet as a TLD."