The first 27 of 1,898 global Top-Level Domains (gTLD) applications have been evaluated and approved by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
After an initial evaluation, there are three possible outcomes: pass, eligible for extended evaluation, or ineligible for further review. There were 30 gTLD applications in the first batch and 27 passed.
This initial batch of applicants are all foreign non-Latin languages such as Chinese, Arabic and Cyrillic. ICANN is prioritising these applications that help geographically diversify the internet.
ICANN is releasing initial evaluation results in increments of 30 a week in order of priority. As time progresses it plans to increase it to 100 per week. The results for all applications are predicted to be published by the end of August 2013.
The new gTLDs are now expected to join the likes of .com, .net and .org on the internet once they receive approval from government advisory bodies. The applicants also need to sign the ICANN registry contract, after which the new gTLDs will undergo rigorous technical testing.
One of the successful applications is .shabaka, which allows Arabic businesses to move away from the generic .com and .net they have been using. .Qatartelecom and .Mozaic were also approved and it is thought the region could end up with more gTLDs to allow even greater diversity.
From mid-2013, all domain names using these gTLDs will be able to direct users straight onto the Arabic website, making it easy for multilingual websites.
“This achievement is the result of many years of policy development and implementation work to bring diversity, competition, and innovation to the domain name system,” ICANN said.
“Applicants, along with the greater ICANN community have dedicated countless hours toward reaching this goal. This is not only an important and exciting moment in the new gTLD program but also in the continuing evolution of the internet.”
The results of applications from major brands and those for generic terms such as .shop, .web and .app will be released in the subsequent batches up until August 2013.