New gTLD documentary

Our Marketing team asked me to do a “short” video on new gTLDs, I asked them to pick another topic…. Rather than sit for days and try to work out what to say, I stayed behind after work with my mini ipad, pressed record and had a chat 🙂

They didn’t expect a documentary …..

I have done a shorter one since for our company website, but for anyone that wants to know why we are about to have a domain name explosion, make a coffee and sit back and watch 🙂




Posted in Domain Names | Leave a comment

Finally, new gTLDs are real!

The majority of my time over the last few years has been spent trying to keep up with the new gTLDs (generic top level domains) that are about to start hitting the internet (hence the lack of blogging).

For those that don’t have a clue what i’m writing about… you’re in for a shock!

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved and are on the cusp of the release of over 1,000 new domain name extensions, it’s going to be chaos….

Yesterday, 23rd October 2013 the first 4 new GTLDs were put live in the root zone by Verisign. Granted you can’t register any domain names in them yet and they are IDNs (Internationalized domain names….. characters not found in the English language), but after years of living and breathing this whole process, to actually see them in IANA is truly a satisfying moment.

For those that care, the first four strings delegated were:

  • شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – Arabic for “web/network”
    Registry: International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
  • онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Cyrillic for “online”
    Registry: CORE Association
  • сайт (xn--80aswg) – Cyrillic for “site”
    Registry: CORE Association
  • 游戏(xn--unup4y) – Chinese for “game(s)”
    Registry: Spring Fields, LLC

Race is on for the first one to start accepting registrations…..


Posted in Domain Names | Leave a comment

Do you want to register

Nominet, the .uk Registry published their second consultation on the 1st July 2013 to ask you the following questions:

Do you want direct registrations under .uk?
If you do, how do they decide who gets certain domain names first?

Over the years Nominet have been asked multiple times “why don’t they allow us to register directly under .uk?” and with the global domain world about to change, Nominet has decided that they should ask for your opinion as to whether domain names ending in .uk should be allowed alongside the existing etc. If Nominet are to add this new option, they will also need to know the fairest way to do it e.g. should existing individuals and businesses that have already secured their or domain name be allowed to request the “matching” domain name directly in .uk portfolio?

In this second consultation, it is proposed that existing domain name registrants in the .uk namespace could have a “six month” period in which they can submit an application for the corresponding .uk domain name. In the cases where multiple applications for the same .uk domain name are received in this initial 6 month period, the application from the registrant with the corresponding domain name ( etc) that has been registered the longest, will be awarded the

Sounds too complicated?

Lets take domain name as an example. They’d definitely want to secure if .uk is introduced. If you check and on the Whois register it shows it was registered before August 1996 – this makes it quite old! If .uk is released, then whether they submit an application for on day one or on the last day of the “six month right of refusal” they should get (phew!).

If they don’t submit an application (which they will), then the oldest applicant who submits an order will get it. If after 6 months, no-one had submitted an order for then it would be available on a first come, first served basis for registration order.

I encourage you all to have your say and contribute as Nominet try to find out “what’s best for the .UK namespace”, find their consultation here.

If you want to find out more about this, listen in to the radio interview I did with online radio show, Frequency cast.

To try and help our teams and customers understand this, i did a little Q&A, it also allowed me to answer the “elephant in the room question” as to whether you should buy a today or wait 😉

(Disclosure; I’ve bought a certain domain in the vain hope i will be able to get the .uk, even if it isn’t the oldest, this is a personal effort to right a wrong… even with everything i know, i can’t get a malicious registration back off someone, believe me i’ve looked into it).

Q. Can i register today?
A. No, you cannot (nor can anyone else) submit an application for a domain name yet.

Q. Why have the British Library got
A. There are some in existence already but those were granted before 1996 when Nominet took over the running of the .uk namespace and none have been allowed since.

Q. Will this mean that we can definitely register
A. This is just a consultation, it is Nominet asking questions and giving an example of what they believe to be a viable option based on the first consultation feedback. This does NOT definitely mean that will happen.

Q. Why are Nominet holding a consultation?
A. Nominet has been asked repeatedly over the years why they don’t allow this as other countries do (.fr .ie .de .nl .es etc) and as Nominet is directed to act in the ‘best interest of the UK namespace” they are asking the UK namespace if they should allow it.

Q. When might we be able to register direct .uk?
A. If this goes ahead, technical changes in registrars would need to be done and Nominet would have to allow time for development work and communications. So even if it goes ahead, it is doubtful it will happen in 2013.

Q. Should I still go ahead and register a today?
A. We don’t know whether Nominet will even allow yet – this is just a consultation. Nominet has to ask these questions to make sure any decision they make is in the best interest of the .uk. If there are no domains in the other .uk existing extensions registered then at least if you get the now, should this even happen then you would have the right to apply for the direct .uk to match. If you wait, you may miss out on them both. Even if goes ahead, it will take time to become familiar, the extension is strong and will remain so for some time to come.

This is your .uk namespace, what happens with it is up to you, I urge you all to have your say. Please fill in the consultation 🙂


Posted in Domain Names | 4 Comments

Are you aware that the domain name world is about to explode?

I haven’t blogged for ages and for that i apologise, the truth is that so much has been happening in the domain name world that i haven’t made the time. I have been busy writing articles, but boring “PR” ones that i often have to tame what i really want to say.

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) basically the body that defines the policy and looks after the global internet (which i am currently attending in Durban, SA) decided in it’s wisdom that you needed more choice and it should promote competition between the generic TLDs (Top-level domains)… so, starting later this year we will see the launch of over 1,000 new domain name endings, some of which are kinda cool, the majority of which i am struggling to see make any impact.

I have tried to raise awareness, believe me it’s really hard to get mainstream press excited about domain names. I set myself a personal goal last year, our marketing team wanted “main stream PR”, in my naivety i said… “Ok, I’ll get us in the Guardian & BBC, it was the two that first sprung to mind!?! But, I’m nothing if not determined, so….. 😉


PS. The Christmas one is my favorite, when a journalist asks you for a “funny domain story”, it’s a tough ask.., 21 Nov 2012: Global government panel files web domain objections

Kelly Salter, a domain product specialist at web hosting firm, said the increasing opposition could derail the plans until 2014.

She added: “The fact that 270 objections have come from the Governmental Advisory Committee highlights the concerns surrounding the new generic top level domains from Icann.

“Even as a UK registrar of domain names we feel the expensive application process has been mismanaged with major brands trying to own generic domains like .beauty that could exclude real competition – especially smaller businesses desperate to succeed in difficult times.”

Read full article:, 17 Dec 2012: New top-level internet domains to launch in 2013

Other domain names in the lottery draw on Monday include .blog, .music, .hotel and .london, with the latter applied for by London & Partners, the official promotional firm for the capital.

Kelly Salter, a domain product specialist at web hosting firm, said successful candidates on Monday would have a huge competitive advantage in launching their new internet addresses.

Read full article: 18 December 2012: .cymru beats .scot to early internet address name review

One UK-based registrar said that the initial new gTLDs to go live would benefit from their early start.

“Those that go first will get a lot more marketing opportunities,” Kelly Salter from told the BBC.

“At the moment there are relatively few extensions to choose from that give you global coverage – so there is the opportunity to get great exposure.

“But if you’re number 500 to be approved, our customers will have become desensitised by that point. So the impact to domains launching towards the end of the process will be that they have to work harder to make people want to use them.”

Icann has said it plans to let the first batch of new gTLDs in May 2013.

Ms Salter said after the launch date she expected about 20 would be released each week with the final ones going live before the end of 2014.

Read full article:, 18 Dec 2012: No-ho-ho – .christmas delayed till 2014, thanks to domain name lottery

Kelly Salter, a domain name specialist at the web hosting firm who watched the lottery draw, said: “The pope may have only had his Twitter for a week, but clearly the Vatican were saying their prayers with .catholic in the Chinese language coming top of the ICANN new gTLD draw last night – and poor Santa with .christmas falling way down the list at 1290.

“It looks like we’re in for a traditional Christmas, even Santa turning up for the new gTLD priority draw couldn’t help the .christmas application. It’s unlikely we’ll see .christmas until 2014.”

Salter said she expects ICANN to launch about 750 of the new internet domains – technically called “generic top-level domains” – from April next year. In 2014, about 1,000 of the addresses are expected to go live.

Read full article:

Loads has happened since, Google has done a U turn (since i gave Google such a hard time, even in person… I may cover their story so far in a separate article), brands that have applied for generic terms (think L’Oreal having .beauty all for themselves) have been given the fantastic news that “this may not be in the best interest of our open and free internet). Check out you can tell from my language that i was particularly passionate about this news, no word of a lie when i say there was dancing in offices around the world 🙂

I promise to blog more, the last thing i want is this all catching you unaware so you end up panic buying rubbish domain extensions when the madness hits x





Posted in Domain Names | Leave a comment

.UK reaches 10 million Registrations!

The number of registered .uk domains broke through the 10 million barrier, i won’t lie, i had my fingers crossed that it would have happened on my birthday earlier this week, but still, its cause for celebration ☺
Preference for .uk domains is strong in Britain, with 81% of those surveyed by Nominet in 2011, saying they prefer .uk sites when given the choice of a .uk or .com in search results. Amongst the reasons given were that it would be more likely to be a UK based company and have more relevance with prices in sterling and local cheaper delivery charges.
In Q4 2011 Nominet (the .UK registry), released figures showing that .uk registrations grew by 10.5% over the past 12 months and .uk maintains its position as the world’s second largest country code registry after Germany’s .de which has 15 million registrations.

It’s definitely an exciting time for the UK Internet space. In May 2012 we have the roll-out of multi-year registrations (1 to 10 years) for .uk domains names and recently Nominet were confirmed to establish both .cymru and .wales in the interests of Welsh businesses and consumers.

With the increased visibility of the US government taking the view that any .COM, .NET, .ORG, or .BIZ domain name is fair go and seizing domain names from registrants around the world that it believes have infringed on US law (google and read what it says), such actions may only prove to strengthen the position of the country code domain names of the world?

Posted in Domain Names, News | Leave a comment

Lots of New Domain Name extensions (TLDs) coming

The domain name system (DNS) today includes over 300 TLDs (Top Level Domains):

  • 249 ccTLDs – Country-code Top Level Domains such as .uk (United Kingdom) .de (Germany) .fr (France)
  • 30 IDN ccTLDs – Internationalized Domain Names such as .امارات (United Arab Emirates)
  • 21 gTLDs – Generic Top Level Domains such as .com, .net, .xxx

From 2013 the number of TLDs is expected to be 1000+

From 12th January 2012 ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, started accepting applications for new Domain Name extensions. They reported on the 13th February 2012 that they already have 100 successful registrants.

On the 1st of May, ICANN will publish the list of applications they have received for a new gTLD. Only then will we see exactly what has been applied, by whom and what is their ‘mission or purpose’. This is when it will get exciting 🙂

After the list of all TLD applications has been published on ICANN’s website, there will be a period of time for third-parties to file a formal objection using pre-established dispute resolution procedures. Objections will be administered by independent Dispute Resolution Service Providers (DRSP), rather than by ICANN. The objection period is your time to object and potentially stop an applied-for gTLD from being approved.

You should pay close attention to what gTLDs are being applied for in case you have a valid reason to object, such as protecting your rights or other legitimate interests.

What can I do if someone applies for a string that represents my brand or trademark?
You can file an objection with the DRSP selected to administer “legal rights” objections. Details about these procedures, such as who has standing, where and how objections are filed, and how much objections will cost can be found in Module 3 of the Applicant Guidebook and the related New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure.

Grounds for filing an objection
Formal objections using pre-established Dispute Resolution Procedures may be filed on any of the following grounds:
• String Confusion Objection – The applied-for gTLD character string is so similar to an existing TLD or to another applied-for gTLD string that user confusion would likely result if both TLDs were delegated.
• Legal Rights Objection – The applied-for gTLD string infringes the existing legal rights of the objector.
• Limited Public Interest Objection – The applied-for gTLD string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law.
• Community Objection – There is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string is targeted.

Who can file an objection to a gTLD application?
• For String Confusion Objections, the objector must be an existing TLD operator or a gTLD applicant in the current/ same application round.
• For Legal Rights Objections, the objector must be a rights holder whose rights are being infringed.
• For Limited Public Interest Objections, anyone can file an objection; however the objection is subject to a “quick look” review designed to filter out frivolous and/or abusive objections.
• For Community Objections, the objector must be an established institution associated with a clearly defined community.

The Objection Filing Period is expected to open in May 2012. According to the timeline established for the New gTLD Program, ICANN expects to post public portions of all applications that have been received, on its website in early May 2012. At this time, the formal objection period will begin and an applicant with ‘standing’ will have approximately seven months to file an objection. After the objection filing period closes, those objections received will move through the dispute resolution process.

Dispute Resolution Providers
Dispute resolution proceedings will be administered by independent Dispute Resolution Service Providers, not by ICANN.
• For String Confusion Objections: The International Centre for Dispute Resolution ( ).
• For Legal Rights Objections: The Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (
• For Limited Public Interest and Community Objections: The International Center of Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce (

For more detailed information on the new gTLD Objection and Dispute Resolution Procedures refer to Module 3 of the Applicant Guidebook.
As always, rely on the Applicant Guidebook as the authoritative source of requirements ( or if you need something to read to send you to sleep at night 🙂

So, please don’t ring me yet to try and register a .shop .wine .paris or .london domain name, i fully expect these examples to have been applied for in the new gTLD program, but whether they will pass the application procedure, what the rules will be for registration… ask me in 2013, i’ll know more then…. x

Posted in Domain Names | Leave a comment

Is it a ‘true’ extension?

There have been a lot of difficulties with domain name extensions recently that are not officially recognised by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

When I first started I didn’t know that CentralNic was actually a group of private individuals that had the foresight to register domains such as and resell on ‘subdomains’.

Am i a fan of such extensions? If I’m being honest, they make me nervous.

Two reasons;
1. People in China looking to choose a URL to click are more likely to click the .cn than a I appreciate that the restrictions are difficult to get around to register a .cn, but if it is a commercial area of interest then you need to invest in the resources to allow you to do this. Same with Norway, the .no is the true IANA Norway extension, the new domain that has had a few interesting moments since launch is again a ‘privately managed subdomain’.

2. As has recently been highlighted, these are not as protected as the IANA extensions. The most recent examples of this include;

The Google decision to remove all 11 million websites from it’s searches. The space is not an officially authorised second-level domain like or Rather, it’s offered independently by a Korean company ( that just happens to own the domain name
Google classes the firm as a “freehost”, and has exercised its right to block the whole domain. More can be read on The Register here

Only this weekend, CentralNic lost control of the domain name and this created chaos at Registry level affecting the majority of the domains. As I type they appear to have regained control, however it highlights the risks. They are in the process of trying to launch a new extension … the
.de (Germany) is the largest ccTLD (Country code) in the world, it is one of the extensions where there is only one to choose from, the launch of the may create some confusion and people may think it is a true German extension, however, be advised, it still is a privately ran operation reselling subdomains!

Posted in Domain Names | 2 Comments

ICANN will increase the number of domain extensions

I didn’t want to cover this yet as I have a newsletter in final draft going out for work shortly (this is my lead article), but with the amount of enquiries we are getting following the news on the BBC and in the newspapers…..

On Monday 20th June 2011, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) ‘finally’ approved the plan to implement one of the biggest changes ever seen in the Domain Name System. During a special meeting, the Board agreed to allow the increase in the number of Internet domain name endings — called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) .

Currently there are 22 gTLDS, the most familiar of these are the .com .net .org .info. With the new plan being approved Internet address names can theoretically soon end with almost any word and be in any language. Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted by ICANN from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.

Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN has been quoted as saying “ICANN has opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today’s decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind”

The decision to proceed with the gTLD program follows many years of discussion (I’d started to think this would never actually reach this stage), debate and deliberation with the Internet community, business groups and governments (apparently the Church / Pope has also had his input on this). The Applicant Guidebook, a rulebook explaining how to apply for a new gTLD, went through numerous revisions to incorporate more than 1,000 comments from the public. Strong efforts were made to address the concerns of all interested parties, and to ensure that the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet are not compromised.

No-one can predict where this decision will take us. The application of a new gTLD is a costly process and will require a great deal of investment regarding the infrastructure, implementation and maintenance. It will be the decision of the successful applicant as to whether they wish to offer the new extension as a commercial concern and what are the restrictions for registration are, or whether they wish to retain it as an exclusive ending to be used by a closed, protected brand / community. Naturally as the plan unfolds I will update my blog with my personal thoughts….

Posted in Domain Names | Leave a comment

Nominet Landrush short domains

I know I haven’t blogged for a while, apologies….

The Nominet Landrush release of the reserved, short domains kept me quite busy. In a weird way I’m going to miss it, it was nice to be doing a release that was UK specific for a change.

We won’t be doing Phase 4, general availability on a first come first served basis. There may be some that are released, but they will be snapped up in milli seconds by scripts, the sunrise whois isn’t yet showing an accurate picture as there is still time for people that applied to pay their £10 Nominet fee (until 22nd) and dot the ‘i’ on their application so it becomes valid (if it’s visible, it’s valid).

Next step for me is the auctions. The Landrush auctions are scheduled to take place from Wednesday July 20th onwards….. and there are a few that I’d like to be a fly on the wall for 🙂

It is an ‘open process’ between the applicants. NFPAS is the auction provider that Nominet has chosen, interestingly they have removed the slideshow that was on their website with the explanation of how it was working, as I’ve previously downloaded it I can give you an overview of what it said, watch this space though, I’ll update you if I find out any new information!

Bidding was scheduled be from 10am to 5pm BST (Nominet will tell you your day and give you your login information).
If the auction has not completed by 5pm it will carry on to the next day and re-commence at 10am (you can go home and see the family, have dinner and some sleep). You will be given access to an online portal and you click to make a bid;

Minimum price increments were;
£0 – £1,000 : £10
£1,001 to £10,000 : £100
£10,001 to £100,000 : £1,000
£100, 001k + : £10,000

The current bid is visible, it tells you if you’re the highest bidder and you will also receive an email notification each time a bid is made by any party (please don’t rely on the email, make sure you keep an eye on the portal).
If at any time the bid does not increase after a 30 minute time frame, the lot (domain) is awarded. Each time a bid is made the time left will reset to 30 mins. Any bid made after 5pm will not start until 10am the next day.

Dates will be confirmed by Nominet and NFPAS after the Landrush closes.

This is the space on the NFPAS website they had the demonstration of how the Landrush auction platform will work. I would expect them to put a new slideshow up soon.

I have spoke to Nominet to ask whether they would all happen at the same time or would they be staggered? It’s not confirmed yet… personally I think it would be very interesting to have them simultaneously, it would make it interesting for those that put a speculative application in for a high number, may even the playing field a little 🙂

Posted in Domain Names | 6 Comments

Whether you like it or not .xxx is launching

The important release of 2011 is the introduction of .XXX, which after many years of controversy and debate is through the final stages of approval by ICANN.

The release process is not yet finalised, but the first .XXX addresses have been released to the domain system’s root servers and you can visit sites like which currently holds generic Registry content (not adult themed) and is being marketed with the tagline, “Let’s Be Adult About it”.

Even if your brand is not linked with the adult entertainment industry, this is an important defensive registration domain and so we’ll be keeping you posted with the relevant facts as they become available.

Namesco are giving clients the opportunity to register an interest to be contacted directly with key information. Get in touch using at and provide us with the name of Domains you may be interested in registering. Unlike other providers, we are not charging for this service.

Who Should Be Interested in .XXX ?

There are clearly two different groups of registrants who should closely monitor the release process of this new extension:-

(i) People working in the Adult Entertainment industry seeking to secure commercially valuable domain names

(ii) Any trademark owners keen to defensively register their brand names in this extension and keep names out of the .XXX space

Because of the long history associated with .XXX, you may be confused about exactly what is currently on offer for pre-registration. But the answer is simple – no official guidelines have been released and therefore you should think twice before paying a pre-registration fee for a Domain extension that does not yet have a structured launch timeline.

More About .XXX

ICM is the registry finally appointed to manage this high profile extension after ICANN was forced for the first time to overrule the advice of national governments and approve ICM’s contract. The adult industry has been a substantial part of the Internet since the beginning and as content has grown and become more accessible, many consumer and government groups have raised concerns about how adult content is identified.

ICM claims to have received more than 600,000 proprietary requests and so this gives an idea of just how big this Domain launch is likely to be as registrant clamour to secure Domains for the adult entertainment industry and undertake defensive registration to protect a brand and keep it out of the .xxx extension.

.XXX brings with it the ability for users to clearly identify whether content of a site will contain adult content before they visit it. Domains registered in the .XXX extension will also be subject to Best Business Practices through the Domain Registry.

Launch Process

The launch process has not yet been released, but it is likely to include Founders, Sunrise , Grandfathering , Landrush and General Availability. Whilst no timelines are currently available, we anticipate that initial registrations will begin in early Autumn and General Availability could even arrive during 2011.

To find out more about Managed Domain Services, get in touch with me on

Posted in Domain Names | Leave a comment