The exciting journey to new gTLDs gains momentum!
As we navigate the digital skies, the familiar echoes of “Are we there yet?” resonate with a sense of anticipation and excitement. It’s the collective cheer of digital explorers and innovators eagerly awaiting the next landmark in internet evolution—the application round for New gTLDs.
Gone are the days of watching the ICANN implementation wheel slowly turn. Now, we’re racing forward, thanks to the steadfast dedication and volunteer spirit of the community over the last decade. These efforts are steering us toward a bright horizon, with April 2026 shining as our beacon.
At the recent ICANN78 AGM in Hamburg, the latest updates were a source of optimism, painting a future where the path to acquiring a New gTLD is not just clear but welcoming. With the Pre-Evaluation of Registry Service Providers, the journey to new gTLDs next round promises a journey as smooth as a jet stream, with each registry’s “magic engine” finely tuned for optimal performance.
Imagine the future as a superhighway, with ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook as the navigation system, guiding us through the process. While the core of this “Highway Code” remains a trusted companion from the 2012 round, it’s getting a refresh. Think of it as an update to your favorite navigation app, incorporating new features and the wisdom from past journeys to ensure a smoother ride ahead.
By Q2 2025, when the Draft Applicant Guidebook rolls out, we’ll have a roadmap refined by experience and enhanced for efficiency. And for those emerging from underdeveloped regions, the Applicant Support program, launching in Q4 2024, promises to pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive internet landscape.
The RSP Pre-Evaluation, igniting in Q2 2025, is poised to be a proactive measure. A pre-flight check ensuring that all systems are a ‘go’ for the veterans and new entrants alike.
While the voices of our digital companions ask, “Can we go faster?” We recognize the pace set by ICANN is deliberate, ensuring that when we reach our destination. It’s not just a fleeting visit but a long-term, sustainable expansion into the new territories of the internet.
Yes, the road ahead may have its challenges—potholes of policy, curves of consensus—but with ICANN’s diligent stewardship and the community’s collaborative spirit, these are but mere moments to navigate on our collective expedition.
As we prepare for this exhilarating trek, now is the time to envision your TLD aspirations. Consider the possibilities, the horizons that your own TLD could open up. Dream up the strategies that will plant your flag firmly in the digital landscape, providing unmatched value to your community or brand.
So, let’s step into our digital vehicle, with eyes fixed on the horizon and hearts full of optimism. Buckle up, refine your strategies, and seize the opportunities that lie ahead in a future where every TLD brings new possibilities. Fasten up! It’s time to rev those engines and set your sights on the journey to new gTLDs.