How Internet Was Taken

It might seem strange to suggest that something intangible as the internet could be taken. But that is exactly what is happening and has happened so far. Initially new domain extensions (gTLDs – generic Top-Level Domains) were so highly priced that an average person could not afford to purchase one. Eventually prices were reduced to permit more people to purchase domain at the gTLD. By the time the extension was reasonably affordable, being sold for ten dollars to fifteen dollars, on the average, with some registrar’s charging more and other less for the first initial domain and exorbitant amounts for any additional domains. To restart the process, to be fair registries were permitted to create seven hundred new gTLDs. This new allocation of gTLDs should allow for a fair distribution of new gTLDs so everyone can buy the domain name they want. I think not.

Now, with the largest internet revolution and expansion in history occurring, it is unclear how the prices are set for the new gTLDs. Moreover, who is overseeing or managing the process of assignment of gTLDs to registrars and who sets the prices or determines the timing of the sunrise date / phase (dates when participants are required to register and validate their trademarks) are matters of obscurity for the consumer. Who determines the advance purchase date of payment for arranging pre-registration with an assigned registrar? Also, how is is the decision made to determine which registrar’s will be assigned which gTLD’s? Will trademarked names be excluded from purchase? Will premium domain names at new gTLDs be scooped by registrars or auctioned directly by the registries at unfathomable prices?

Even after pre-registering a domain at a new gTLD one will need to wait until the actual date of registration to find out if their chosen domain name was successfully registered. Registration dates can range from being four to six months away from the pre-registration dates. If domaining (buying and selling domains) is your business that it is much interest to you how the price is set for gTLD and the governance of the administration process for new extensions.

With some registrars supposedly being uniquely assigned set gTLDs, while others claiming that they have the right to pre-register extensions that they have not yet been assigned, the process of new gTLD acquisition is quite complicated. How does a consumer know who to trust with their money? One registrar is charging approximately fifty dollars for pre-registration of a new gTLD and nearly four hundred dollars for pre—pre-registration. The difference between the two options supposedly being that the pre-pre-registration option will have your application for a new domain at a newly released extension being submitted to the managing registry a few days before registration opens. While a pre-registered domain application will only be submitted on the days that the gTLD is available to be registered.

To be able to afford a new gTLD is a near impossibility for the average person. The major issue for those who have the financial resources to buy a new gTLD is being able to know that actual sunrise date set by the registry and the actual date that an assigned registrar will be selling the gTLD. Knowing the potential sunrise date of a new extension is not a straightforward process. Registrars seem either unsure of when the registry will assign the gTLD to them and which gTLDs will be assigned to which registrars.

This madness needs to become sane for the sake of the domain game. Perhaps registrars could set up an optioned system; whereby they would accept payments, at any time before the sunrise dates, for new gTLDs. Then on the sunrise date, when the domain name can actually be pre-registered, convert the held payment to a received payment for pre-registration. This way a customer can rest assured in the hope that they will not need to watch the forum on a registrars’ website to find out when a new gTLD will be available for pre-registration. Since by the time the gTLD is announced for sale, it will be too late to secure the domain name one wants to purchase; as one will be competing second by second with other customers at the same registrar. This process is not in isolation, as one will also be in stark completion will customer at one of six other potential registrars to whom the same gTLD might have been assigned. Unbeknownst to the average consumer some domain names will not be assigned to registrars. These premium domains will be managed directly by the registry who will sell them at their own private auctions.

When will the madness end? Is there no governance of this new process for new gTLDs. For the large corporations, who will be first in line to secure nearly six hundred of the seven hundred new gTLDs, there is a process that is being securely managed to ensure that those with the deepest pockets get the extension they want. As well, if you can afford nearly four hundred dollars for a pre-registration of a domain name at a new extension that you may or may not actually be able to buy, than you can also play the domain game. If your application is unsuccessful you will not receive a refund for your so-called application fee, being one hundred and sixty dollars or so.

Even if your application is successful, you might need to enter into a bidding competition with other seemingly successful potential buyers a new domain name at new gTLD. If you choose not to bid or cannot maintain your bids and thereby withdraw from the process you will forfeit your application fee. If you do bid and the bid amount is ten thousand dollars, for example, who will receive this amount? Will it be the issuing registry or the registrar? This is a question that needs to be answered. So if you have large savings, are being backed by investors or are willing to take out a mortgage, then you can play the domain game and possibly afford a new domain at a new gTLD. This is how the internet was taken.


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