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African brands wiped off the map as ICANN flips the kill switch on 10 gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, May 9, 2016, 14:24:38 (UTC), Domain Registries

Ten dot-brand gTLDs may never see the light of day, after ICANN sent termination notices to the applicants.
The move means that the number of African-owned dot-brand gTLDs to go live in the current round will be precisely zero.
The 10 affected gTLDs are .naspers, .supersport, .mzansimagic, .mnet, .kyknet, .africamagic, .multichoice, .dstv and .gotv, which were applied for by four South African companies, and .payu, which came from a Dutch firm.
In each case, the applicant had signed a Registry Agreement with ICANN in early 2015, but had failed to actually go live in the DNS within the required 12-month window.
All had deadlines in February or March but failed to meet even extended deadlines.
The condemned gTLDs make up more than half of the total applications originating in Africa.
Of the original 17 African applications, only ZACR’s .joburg, .capetown and .durban city gTLDs have actually been delegated.
Another application, the generic .ummah from Ummah Digital of Gambia, was withdrawn in 2013.
The League of Arab States’ .arab and عرب. are both currently in pre-delegation testing, having signed ICANN contracts in November.
The remaining two applications are both for .africa, which is currently stuck in litigation.
We’re looking at a maximum of six African-owned gTLDs, of a possible 16, going live in the 2012 round.
ICANN was criticized back in 2012 for not doing enough to raise awareness of the new gTLD program, criticisms that have been raised again recently as the community starts to seriously look at how things can be improved for the next round.
UPDATE: This article originally stated that .ummah was a dot-brand application. It was not. The text has been corrected accordingly.

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Comments (4)

  1. Katim S. Touray says:

    Kevin, .Ummah, for your information was NOT a dot-brand TLD application. Rather it was meant to serve the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims who make up about 20 percent of the global population. Sadly, the application had to be withdrawn after we failed to meet one (public interest) of the three criteria required for applicant support. The two were based on need for support, and financial management abilities.
    These failures of new African TLDs is especially sad. You bet they’ll provide us much motivation for a better performance in the next (yes) round of TLD applications!

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Thanks. The post has been updated accordingly.

    • Phil Buckingham says:

      Katim, It is imperative that ICANN develop a much much better Joint Applicant Support program for Round 2 . Thats assuming there is a Round 2 of course ,when – 2025 IMO – once the mess of Round 1 is sorted .

  2. Rob Golding says:

    I think it says far less about “awareness of the new gTLD program”and far more about the applicants that they’re being ‘terminated’ at this stage in the program
    Be that poor planning, limited technical experience or IME far more prevalent, completely unrealistic expectations.
    Plus some of the gTLDS like:
    should have been rejected outright as far-too-similar to existing tlds, as they’ll simply confuse internet users.

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