Feeds

Grassroots Brit project plans .app top-level domain bid

Having to call itself DotAppApp.com for now

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.