BBC had an article yesterday debating the need of a New gTLD for England: .England.
Scotland will have its New gTLD .scot this summer and the city of London will have it’s own in a few months: .london.
But the .England New gTLD is not anywhere near that. There was no application for .england in the first round of applications for New gTLDs at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Richard Stevenson, from domain name registrar 1&1 Internet, which is one of a number of firms selling .london addresses, believes it could take a number of years before efforts for an England TLD to reach fruition.
“As no formal application was submitted to ICANN for .England, it is indeed way behind in the process,” he said.
“There would be new benefits in being able to localise a website to England specifically, as opposed to the UK, which for example, could be valuable for English tourism, farming, legal sectors and also personal websites.
“However, with about 10 million registrations to date, I do think that the existing .co.uk is doing a great job as a beacon for identifying UK based businesses, certainly for overseas audiences.”
“For many users, geographical identity is a powerful boon on the internet.”
The article then states that applicants in the last round of TLD allocations paid ICANN about £110,000 ($185,000), but estimates for total associated costs reach almost £300,000.
But that is not the problem. It is not like anyone can make apply for .england in the next round of new gTLDs and succeed. Geographical Names as gTLDs are clearly defined by the gTLD Applicant Guidebook, as gTLDs requiring government support. Geographical Name gTLDs have in common that the string is a meaningful representation or abbreviation of a geographical name that is protected by national laws.
So the .england New gTLD needs more of a local and national government support than it needs money.