Is NZ Ready for New gTLDs?

21 August 2012

It seems like the new gTLD programme has been underway now for an age. Indeed it has been longer for some than others, but the finish line – or starting line – depending on how you look at it, is fast approaching.

Dot Kiwi has been underway since April 2011, a relatively short, but incredibly intense time-span. We are the only applicants for the .KIWI string and it seems inevitable now that .KIWI domains will be on the market within the next 12-18 months, along side many hundreds of other new gTLDs.  This may seem like a long time, but in reality this is merely a short hop and an especially short hop considering what must be done in that time.

A question that has been circulating here in the office for some time now is:  how ready is New Zealand for this unprecedented evolution of the Internet’s addressing system?  Press coverage (despite our efforts!) has been minimal over the past 12 months and general public awareness is very low. This is a problem for the web and internet industry in New Zealand, but one that there is still 12-18 months to solve. Dot Kiwi will be doing its fair share on that front – don’t you worry.

However, NZ trademark holders, brands and industry folk should be looking at these issues now – there is not a lot of time to prepare!  You should be considering the impact of new gTLDs on yours, or your clients brands, advertising, marketing strategies, intellectual property, and perhaps most importantly – the opportunities!

Unfortunately, except for a a motivated few, there is an extraordinary lack of awareness and understanding in New Zealand at this time. NZ  and Australia have been seriously deprived of access to local events and education on new gTLDs. For this reason, Dot Kiwi was very eager to contribute and be a part of the “New TLD Summit” being held in Sydney in November 2012. Granted, it’s not in NZ, but a short hop across the Tasman is better than the past (and probably future) alternatives, and it gives us an opportunity to wind up the Aussies about the rugby.

(UPDATE: 11-Sept-2012 – Unfortunately the New TLD Summit has been cancelled. Dot Kiwi will continue to promote new gTLD awareness in our region and we hope to support another conference within the next 12 months.)

The New TLD Summit has an impressive lineup of speakers, including ICANN board members, new gTLD applicants, industry experts and more. In our view, if you’re one of the following, then you should be investing in the attendance of the event:

  • Leading NZ registrars/hosting companies
  • IP Attorneys
  • Prominent brands
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Marketing agencies

Your customers will be asking you questions about new gTLDs soon, so be prepared and start building a network of contacts.  The summit’s website is here:  – be sure to let Dot Kiwi know if you’re planning to attend.