MONITORING REPORT IBD: The chances for Pakistan vigorously entering the world internet business have brightened as the +Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has initiated a process that could trigger a dramatic expansion of the Internet. Most recently the ICANN has starting accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The cozy world of .com’s, .gov’s, .org’s and about 19 other generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will soon be expanded to include all types of words in many different languages. For the first time generic TLDs can include words in non-Latin languages, such as Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic.
According to internet business experts, if organizations and brands in Pakistan do not jump into this relevant field, there is a strong possibility of getting behind in this sector thus allowing the world firms to secure a comfortable niche in the internet market.
The term ‘Top Level Domain’ known by the acronym TLD is the part of any website address that comes after the dot in the domain name, for instance, in the website address www.icann.org, the TLD is “org” after the dot, the same as .com and .net and so forth. Until now, the Internet community and World Wide Web users know about two specific types of TLDs called Generic TLD or gTLDs and Country TLDs or ccTLDs.
While some believe this will enable a new era of innovation, there are also some who believe this will only serve a few like the big trademark owners and corporations or domains.
There is no doubt that ICANN’s mandate is to promote the opportunities for innovation and competition within the Internet Name and Addressing Space.
These 21 gTLDs are facing limited scope moving towards scarcity, getting expensive, therefore, there was an evident need for expanding opportunities. ICANN, with the support of the like-minded internet community finally has come to terms with the possibility of launching the new gTLDs programme.
This has both implications and opportunities and sponsoring organizations will be able to evolve and distribute fully functional internet domain names under top level domains such as ‘.sport’, ‘.social’, ‘.cio’, ‘.car’ ‘.news’, ‘.shop’, ‘.pakistan’, ‘.mango’,’.song’, ‘.music’ and literally anything you can come up with.
For Pakistan, gTLDs means a whole new opportunity to build or simply be washed away. The new gTLDs offer specific uses for example, all music will be available at dot music ‘.music’ websites, similarly, all software companies in the world might be listed on a search engine specific to the dot software domain at ‘www.mytumtum.software’.”
The world can apply for new gTLDs in any UN-recognized script such as Arabic, Chinese. As ICANN’s President Rod Beckstrom puts it, ‘this is the first time in history that it is possible to apply for new generic top-level domains in internationalized domain scripts.’ You could apply for terms in Urdu, not only a company name or brand or a city name, but any other word or generic term.
The ICANN is making an effort to include everyone in the new gTLD programbe. ICANN has already extended awareness-raising events in many countries. Besides, it has started using the Google ad network to display information on its new gTLD program for Internet users in specific countries.
The new study shows that the new gTLD programme provides the opportunity to navigate the Internet and World Wide Web in a brand new way, use it in more exciting ways and opportunities for launching new marketing and services offerings.
Presently, Pakistani businessmen and Internet entrepreneurs already online may want to build or enhance their brands by securing brand specific gTLDs to increase customer and partner trust and quality information. They will have new marketing opportunities especially for small businesses and organizations through gTLD or domain names that specifically serve their brand purpose.
Remember with the new gTLDs, Internationalized Domain Names in localized languages such as Urdu, Punjabi, Pashtu and Sindhi are also poised to be launched soon. According to internet business experts, there is a great deal of innovation that is going to drive the expansion online; impact the future of the Web as we know it. And yes, Pakistan does have a role to play, sooner rather than later.STAFF REPORT IBD: