Feeds

Grassroots Brit project plans .app top-level domain bid

Having to call itself DotAppApp.com for now

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A British-based community project has emerged with the aim of applying to run ".app" as a new top-level internet domain.

But the budding organisation, which currently has about 75 paid-up members, faces a funding challenge if it wants to win what is expected to be a highly competitive bidding process.

The project, at DotAppApp.com, was founded by software consultant Matthew Baxter-Reynolds after he noticed that many mobile application developers are forced to use obscure domain names, often using the suffix -app.com, to market their apps.

When ICANN approved its new top-level domains programme last month – enabling any well-funded organisation to apply for basically any extension after the dot – Baxter-Reynolds decided to put together a community application for .app, to make it easier to find a good domain.

"We're trying to do what I think ICANN was intending with this process, letting people create their own rules and their own spaces on the internet," he said.

The community is still discussing its policies, but the one rule that already seems firm is "use it or lose it". This .app, if ICANN approves it, would not allow domainers to buy up quality names and leave them dormant while trying to resell them at a higher price.

There's also an idea to have the community vote on which app developer should be able to use premium addresses, such as puzzle.app, at any given time.

But the project faces substantial hurdles if it wants to win .app, not least of which is the requirement to pay at least $185,000 in ICANN fees and show funding up-front for three years of technical operations.

Baxter-Reynolds said that the organisation is looking for commercial sponsorship to fund the bid, and is trying to attract as many paying members as possible. Signing up costs between $25 and $100, and members get to "pre-register" a .app domain.

But DotAppApp's main problem is that .app is likely to be contested.

While no other company has publicly revealed plans to apply for the extension, it may be attractive to companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, to support their mobile strategies.

Companies in the domain name industry are also likely to bid, purely for its value as an attractive string – .app is viewed as a piece of potentially lucrative real estate.

Under ICANN rules, competing applicants for the same string are encouraged to come to a settlement between themselves. Failing that, the gTLD goes to auction and the deepest pockets win.

Baxter-Reynolds said he could see the community working with a vendor "where our interests are aligned", but competing against an applicant with dollar signs in its eyes would be a different story.

"We would push to get the really big players to invest in us as a community body. They could join the board and have some control," he said. "I'm not sure how it would pan out if we're up against somebody who's only in it for the gold rush." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.