New Delhi: Indian companies did not display much interest in submitting proposals for new Internet address suffixes. Of the 1930 applications that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced for new domain name suffixes only 21 have been applied for by Indian companies.
There are also three gTLDs in Hindi, but they have not been registered by Indian companies. The .कॉम (.com in Hindi) and .नेट (.net in Hindi) have been applied for by VeriSign Sarl from Switzerland and .संगठन (.sanghatan in Hindi, equivalent of .org) has been applied for by the US based Public Interest Registry.
Expanding the number of suffixes, the ".com" part of an Internet address, has been one of ICANN's missions since its creation in 1998 to oversee domain names. ICANN had two test rounds, in 2000 and 2004, when it added ".info," ".Asia," ".travel," among others. It's now ready to expand the domain name system more broadly.
For the new round, ICANN began accepting proposals in January. Bidders had to answer 50 questions covering such things as what a proposed suffix will be used for and what kind of financial backing the company or organization has. They had until May 30 to submit the proposal. Each proposal cost $185,000 to submit.
What ICANN has announced on Wednesday is a list of all the proposals. There will reviews before the suffixes are accepted and available for use.
Reliance Industries Limited has applied for two gTLDs, one .ril and another .indians, apparently for their Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians. Bharti Airtel has also applied for two (.airtel and .bharti) and so has the State Bank of India (.sbi and .statebank). Other prominent Indian applicants include HDFC, Infosys, Tata and TVS.
The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposals. Someone can claim a trademark violation or argue that a proposed suffix is offensive.
Because of the high number of proposals, ICANN will review them in groups of about 500. There's a lottery-like system to determine which ones get to be considered first. It could take a few years to get to the final group.
ICANN will review each proposal to make sure that its financial plan is sound and that contingencies exist in case a company goes out of business. Bidders also must pass criminal background checks.
If multiple bidders seek the same suffix, ICANN will encourage the parties to work out an agreement. The organization will hold an auction if they cannot come up with a compromise.
The review is expected to take at least nine months, meaning approval of the first batch won't happen until March 2013 or later. If there are challenges or other problems, ICANN believes the review could take up to 20 months.
Approvals will be made on a rolling basis, so those that pass reviews early won't have to wait for the ones taking more time.
Once a suffix gets approved, the winning bidder will have to set up procedures for registering names under that suffix and computers to keep track of them. The bidder might have all that already completed in anticipation of an approval.
The bidder pays an annual fee that starts at $25,000. The suffix gets activated and becomes available for use. All that could take days or months.
Following is the list of the 21 domain name suffixes applied for by Indian companies:
.airtel (Bharti Airtel Limited)
.bharti (Bharti Enterprises (Holding) Private Limited)
.dabur (Dabur India Limited)
.hdfc (Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited)
.hdfcbank (HDFC Bank Limited)
.indians (Reliance Industries Limited)
.infosys (Infosys Limited)
.infy (Infosys Limited)
.lupin (Lupin Limited)
.ooo (Infibeam Incorporation Limited)
.ping (DotPing Inc.)
.reliance (Reliance Industries Limited)
.ril (Reliance Industries Limited)
.sbi (State Bank of India)
.shriram (Shriram Capital Ltd)
.star (Star India Private Limited)
.statebank (State Bank of India)
.tata (Tata Sons Limited)
.tatamotors (Tata Motors Ltd)
.tvs (T V Sundram Iyengar & Sons Limited)
####Reliance Industries Limited has applied for both .ril and .indians generic top-level domains.