New internet domain name extensions

To promote competition and diversity in the domain name system, new extensions for domain names are gradually being made available. The 22 traditional generic extensions (e.g. .com, .org or .info) are joined by thematic (e.g. .hotel, .bank), geographical (e.g. .berlin, .florida) or brand-related extensions. This new feature is the result of a decision by ICANN.

The possibility of registering names in these new gTLDs enables businesses and other entities to increase their visibility on the internet. However, the latter must ensure they are protected from misuse of their brand or their name by third parties (cybersquatting). OFCOM is recommending that businesses and organisations properly assess the risks and opportunities associated with these new extensions. 

Following its decision to create new extensions or generic top-level internet domains (gTLDs), ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the corporation which manages internet addresses, publishes on its web site the current status of projects to implement requested gTLDs during the first application period, which ended in spring 2012.

The next period during which it will be possible to submit an application to create a new gTLD has not yet been scheduled by ICANN.  Switzerland and its administration are not involved in the processes of creating new gTLDs and evaluating applications. However, the Confederation can oppose an application if it considers that the national public interest is at stake. When special interests are affected, only that party which considers itself aggrieved may bring an action, either in accordance with the procedures defined by ICANN or by taking action under the competent national jurisdiction. For its part, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), which represents the Confederation within ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee, is responsible for regularly informing the business community and other interested parties of the latest developments in this project. 

Specialist staff
Last modification 04.04.2018

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