Blacknight (http://www.blacknight.com/) have been keeping an eye on the New gTLD Applicant Priority Draw to stay up to date on which new TLDs (top level domains - the bit on the right of the dot) will be available for their customers.
Held by ICANN (International Corporation Assigned Names and Numbers) on December 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, the purpose of the priority draw was to fairly decide, the order in which all of the applied for new TLDs will be reviewed and allocated.
To participate in the process, applicants paid $100 USD registration fee per TLD to receive a randomly drawn number. The number received then indicates when the TLD that matches it will be evaluated and if successful, eventually enter the root.
Blacknight is particularly interested in general applicants who drew the lowest numbers as they will be among the first to have their domain extensions evaluated and if successful, introduced to the public.
Michele Neylon of Blacknight explains: “From our perspective, the results of the draw are incredibly helpful as we now know (based on who drew the lowest numbers) which new TLDs might soon be available. While we will not be carrying all new TLDs, such as those that aren’t open to the public, it does mean that we can gear up to offer a variety of new domain extensions to our customers.”
The draw is the result of a long process to determine the best way to create an evaluation order that satisfied the applicants of all 1,917 domains. Applicants and registrars alike have been waiting several months to receive word on when the processes for new TLDs will move forward.
“My feelings on the process are mixed,” Neylon continues, “but I am heartened to see that the draw has taken place. It should hopefully give applicants and everyone else involved in this process a clearer timetable in which we can prepare for the concrete reality of New TLDs. There are still a lot of questions to be answered for each application, like GAC early warnings and string evaluations, but it is immensely helpful to now know the order in which things are coming.”
While Blacknight predict that new gTLDs may not be available to the public for registration until 2014, the company plans to stock their digital shelves as soon as new extensions hit the market.
You can see which new domain extensions companies have applied for onhttp://www.dotwhat.co/
For more information about existing TLDs offered for registration through Blacknight as well as the full suite of hosting services, please visit http://www.blacknight.com/