"The appointment of ARI Registry Services by the governments' of New South Wales and Victoria to provide strategic planning consultancy, application development support and technical registry operations will ensure the success of this ground breaking initiative," said ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis. "With world leading domain name industry experience and expertise, and the backing of our project partner, Melbourne IT and advisor Ernst & Young, we look forward to developing an asset that supports the needs of stakeholders and Internet users globally."
Mr Kinderis warned other organisations considering applications for a TLD that the initial application window closes on April 12, and that it is not known when others will be accepted.
ICANN requires an application fee of $US185,000 (estimated) for each proposed gTLD, with a $5000 deposit. Other fees may be payable as part of the application process, and applicants also be responsible for the costs of operating the domain if it is accepted, in addition to a fixed fee of $US6250 per calendar quarter and $US0.25 per transaction. The transaction fee is only levied when more than 50,000 transactions occur in any quarter or in any period of four calendar quarters.
ICANN is offering a reduced evaluation fee ($US47,000) to "qualified candidates" in order to ensure "interest by ensuring worldwide accessibility to, and competition within, the Domain Name System." Candidates must "demonstrate: (1) service in the public interest; (2) financial need; and (3) minimum financial capabilities", and must not be (1) a national government entity or an entity with controlling interest by national government, (2) seeking to register a trademark (unless the name of a community or nongovernment agency has been trademarked) or (3) seeking to register a geographical name.
The first new gTLDs are expected to go live in the first half of 2013. Applications seeking reduced application fees are likely to take around six months longer.