Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are big beneficiaries in the new Generic Top Level Domain selection process after the introduction of the controversial “batching” methodology by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
The batching process allows for applications to be selected first on geography, and then involves a round robin process that has been called messy and complicated. The first round will allow the first hundred applications in each geographic region to be considered. This means that even regions with few applications — essentially, emerging markets — will be dealt with in the first batch.
On Wednesday, ICANN revealed that there were 1,930 applications received including those covering geographic names and indigenous language scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic. Out of the applications, North America led with 911 applications, Europe had 675, Asia Pacific has 303, Latin America and Caribbean had 24 while Africa had 17.
This is the third time ICANN opened up the new gTLD process and it is the first time the African and Latin American and Caribbean regions are involved. This process is likely to test ICANN’s awareness on politics and tech issues particular to these regions.
“We are standing at the cusp of a new era of online innovation,” said ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom at a press conference. “That means new businesses, new marketing tools, new jobs, and new ways to link communities and share information.”
During the press conference held in London, Beckstrom confirmed that applications from Africa and Latin America will be dealt with first.
In Africa, the 17 applications were drawn from Gambia, Egypt and South Africa, with entities in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town being the first cities to apply. Among those submitting applications, Supersport, DSTv, Mnet, GoTV, Multichoice and MTN are South African businesses with a pan-African presence.
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Category: Africa News