Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 1:00pm
There are four different groups have applied to control the proposed ".radio" top level domain, it was revealed yesterday.
This time last year ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the group that regulates the Internet's domain naming system), announced it would allow for companies to create new "generic top-level domain" (gTLD) names (the part to the right of the "dot" in web addresses, e.g. ".com," ".net," ".edu"). Yesterday ICANN released the list (here) of applicants and their requested gTLDs.
As CEO George Bundy announced at RAIN Summit West, BRS Media (which administers .fm and .am domains) was one company applying for the .radio TLD. The European Broadcasting Union has applied as well. The other two applicants are domain registry companies Afilias (which launched the ".info" TLD in 2001), and Donuts, which last week announced private equity and venture funds had invested over $100 million for the company to apply for 307 TLDs (CNet coverage here). Just the application fees alone cost nearly $57 million.
The obvious question: Why? Forbes spokes with an attorney named Richard Stockton, who thinks "the possibilities of gTLDs are nearly limitless. Banks, for example, could use gTLDs to reinforce security; customers would know that only domains ending in .chase are safe places to conduct transactions. Automobile companies like Volkswagen could create separate domains for each of their car models. Nike could give customers their own .Nike sites, where they could customize merchandise and maintain an account."
Donuts' founders include Paul Stahura, founder of eNom.com (which sells domains to the public, like GoDaddy) and Richard Tindal, who launched the ".biz" extension. A Donuts spokesperson told CNet that "new extensions will give website owners a chance to be more expressive of what they are featuring on their site versus the over populated URLs like .com and .net."
Read more in Forbes here; CNet here; and The Washington Post here.