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GoDaddy kicks off gTLD land rush with first domain sales

Registrars start handing out new ICANN addresses

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Domain dealer GoDaddy has begun the first registrations of domains under the ICANN generic top-level domain (gTLD) programme.

The company said that it will be allowing customers to pre-register sites in the .build, .luxury, .uno and .menu domains. The release marks the first registration for the new domains since the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formally approved the plan to add hundreds of new site domains.

Under the plan, users will be able to put their names down for a pre-registry list which will allow priority access when the registrar makes the domains public early next year.

If multiple parties apply for pre-registration, the domain name will be put up for auction between the prospective buyers to decide ownership.

"Domain names are essentially 21st century real estate that create your namespace on the internet," GoDaddy vice president of domains Rich Merdinger said of the release.

"The new naming options will open up significant inventory and give business owners and entrepreneurs, and the public in general, more relevant choices that are specific to their business or location."

According to GoDaddy, the new domains will be geared toward specific audiences. For example, .uno sites will be primarily intended for Spanish-language content, while .build will be aimed at the design and construction industries.

Eventually, GoDaddy said that it will be opening more than 700 new generic domains up for user registration.

The gTLD rollout has been a long and bumpy road for ICANN. Beset by multiple delays and technical glitches, the programme was rolled out months behind schedule and spanned the reign of two ICANN CEOs.

Among the headaches ICANN has been forced to contend with along the road to the rollout are a storm of trademark and intellectual property spats, objections from national governments, and even controversy from possible religious conflicts.

GoDaddy, meanwhile, said that it plans to continue the rollouts over the next 24 months as it doles out its share of the new gTLDs. ®

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