How can I buy my own personalized Top Level Domain (TLD)?

Starting fomm tomorrow January/12/2012 I heard it's possible to apply for your own TLD i.e. .whatever in place of .com .org etc.

I thought it would require a huge amount of money (I heard stories about paying $185K for one) but I found a company that seems to register a new TLD for just $1000.

The price to register a TLD including the unlimited number of domains that belong to it is: $1000.- only.

Do you think this is a scam or for real? Do you know about any other places where I can go to apply for personalized TLD?

Answers 2

  • The site you saw is run by Public-Root, one of the many alternative root zone operators. These are essentially rogue organizations that create/sell custom TLDs that aren't sanctioned or recognized by ICANN and only exist on their own private root DNS servers.

    So, technically, they're right, you can buy a custom TLD from them for $1000. The only problem is that no one, not even you, will be able to resolve the TLD or any domains under that TLD because pretty much no ISPs use these alternative root DNS zones. Nearly all ISPs stick to ICANN's official DNS root.

    Another problem with alternative root zones is that it allows different root zone operators to sell the same FQDN to different people, resolving to different servers. This happened when Pacific Root created .biz before ICANN sanctioned the creation of the .biz TLD. Later, when ICANN officially sanctioned .biz and delegated it to Neulevel's root servers, there became a conflict due to overlapping DNS records for .biz domains sold by Pacific Root and those sold by Neulevel. In effect, some people would type in and it would resolve to one IP address as given by Pacific Root, while someone with a different ISP would get pointed to another IP as specified in Neulevel's official root servers.

    Of course, this was gradually resolved as alternative root zones have pretty much been discounted (as evidenced by the horribly dated and poorly maintained self-promotional websites linked to Public-Root) since the use of alternative root zone would inevitably fracture and destabilize the internet. But this hasn't stopped these unethical companies from setting up semi-official-sounding organizations to link to using fake trustmarks (using early-90s-era graphics) and trying to scam unweary visitors out of their money.

  • It does appear that ICANN will be allowing you to purchase your own TLD, but I would be incredibly skeptical of any company offering to sell you one - especially right now.

    It looks like ICANN will start taking applications on Wednesday, Jan. 12th (tomorrow, on the date of this answer) and will be accepting applications up until April.

    I have not been able to find a price from anywhere other than this TechCrunch Article about the new TLD decision, and that quotes the $185,000 figure as well.

    It sounds like someone is trying to scam you out of $1000 - I'd be very wary!

    EDIT: According to the Application Guidebook from the ICANN New gTLD site, the registration fee is indeed $185,000. Unless these registrars are kindly footing the bill for the initial cost, I would highly doubt their legitimacy.

    If you're interested in applying for one, I'd say the ICANN program site will be your best bet.

    If you are successful in your application, there are then ongoing fees (from FAQ 5.7):

    • A fixed fee of US$6,250 per calendar quarter
    • A transaction fee of US$0.25 (once you have more than 50,000 transactions per quarter/4 quarters)

    There are also other fees that may be required during the registration process to cover the costs of arbitration panels if more than one person attempts to register a similar TLD.

Related Questions