The first batch of new TLDs will be available by mid-2013, and will likely be in Chinese and non-English languages, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
According to the report, ICANN received more than 100 proposals for names in other languages, the majority of which were Chinese.
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade said the initial release will be followed by English suffixes that do not have competing bidders. Once these are released, ICANN will move forward with the release of domain name extensions like .app and .tech, which have competing applicants.
Chehade said ICANN will make its initial recommendations in late April, and the first names will be activated within months after the operational and contractual details are worked out. According to AP, the additional names will be released at a rate of about 20 per week.
On Monday, Chehade said ICANN would set up new hubs in Singapore and Istanbul to better serve the APAC market as part of the organizations effort in becoming a more global organization. According to a report by ZDNet, ICANN plans to have the hubs live by July 2013 at the latest, following its 46th annual meeting to be held in Beijing in April.
At the 45th ICANN meeting held in Toronto last July, Chehade vowed that ICANN would move away from making decisions in a US-centric way, and the new international hubs seems to reinforce this position. ZDNet says that the hubs will handle the same operations as its current LA headquarters, and “there will be a focus on diversity in the composition of its staff.”
To prepare for the new TLD rollout, wholesale domain registrar eNom has launched a portal for web hosts to build a Watchlist, and take orders for the Sunrise, Landrush and General Availability periods of the new TLD launches. The module is available through Parallels Plesk Panel and WHMCS.
See more in a video: eNom VP Chris Sheridan on New TLDs and the Hosting Business
Talk back: Do you think ICANN is making a considerable effort in becoming less US-centric? Are you ready for the new TLD rollout this year? Let us know in a comment.