Melbourne wins domain raffle

Posted on December 20, 2012 12:52 pm

My home city of Melbourne has come out top in an international lottery meant to establish the order in which there were 1,930 applications for new generic top-level domains will be processed. The City of Melbourne was the seventh of 66 applicant cities to emerge from the barrel, ranking 350 in the draw while German city Koeln was the first city to be drawn, winning the rank of 126, while the City of Sydney emerged 1,352. International domain name regulator ICANN today conducted a prioritization draw as part of it move to introduce gTLDs outside the existing domains its agenda to promote a global Internet, ICANN prioritized Internationalized domain names in the lottery, assigning the first 116 places to gTLD applications involving non-Latin characters. Apart from Melbourne triumph, the Vatican’s application to register .catholic in Chinese characters won the top spot, followed by Amazon’s .store in Japanese and International Domain Registry’s .web in Arabic. Insurance comparison service provider iSelect was the first Australian organization to emerge from the ICANN’s lottery barrel, with its application for .select set to be the 173rd gTLD application to be evaluated.

ARI Registry was contracted to register .melbourne, .victoria and .sydney earlier this year.The organization has said 1,002-place gap in the cities’ rankings could account for a six to 12-month difference in implementation. Other Australian applications in the top 500 included Monash University’s .monash at 338, Open Universities Australia’s .study at 349 and the Commonwealth Bank’s .cba at 378. Three of Australia’s big four banks applied to register gTLD strings. NAB’s .ubank and .nab came in at 783 and 984 respectively, while the ANZ Group’s .anz took the 1,382 spot. ARI Registry officials also said rankings would give some gTLDs a first-mover advantage over others, highlighting potential competition between .film and .movie as examples. Some applicants made an event of today’s ten-hour draw, with registrar Uniregistry hiring someone to dress up as Santa for the six hours until its .christmas application was drawn. In total, thirty-two Australian organizations have applied to register a total of 40 domains Round 1 of ICANN’s gTLD program. The next round of the program is due to commence after the current round. Industry players expect it to take another three years before Round 2 applications are accepted.

Contador Harrison