There's nothing better thanˇ to start off the new year (or, really in the case of these TLDs, end last year) with a group of strings recently delegated to the root zone by ICANN which contain some expected outcomes and some surprises.
.hair — December 2
While two .hair applications were received, ultimately ICANN allowed the delegation of .hair to L'Oréal despite objections by the GAC.
.hospital — December 9
The .hospital TLD sheds light on one of the more controversial categories of applied-for strings, namely, those pertaining to the medical field. Along with other medical-related strings, ICANN's appointed Independent Objector filed an objection for the .hospital string, especially given the potential for abuse.
For its part, the applicant, Donuts, maintained that .hospital is general enough that it has a legitimate commercial use outside of the realm of actual hospitals, and that no such confusion would occur.
While the American Hospital Association filed a community complaint (and it would be hard to object to the categorization of the AHA as a legitimate representative of the community covered), no such community organization stepped forward with enough capital to cover the application costs.
It should also be considered that the higher than average likelihood of denial of an application for such a string puts the risk of investing in such an application by a third-party. This would seem to almost guarantee that a large portfolio registry would be more likely to apply than a smaller registry and Donuts was indeed the sole applicant.
.data — December 20
It's also not surprising that multiple registries would apply for a string like .data, which you'd be hard-pressed to find a community with a clear claim over (much to our chagrin).
It's somewhat surprising that there were only three applicants, given the evident potential of a .data TLD: Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., Donuts, and Dish DBS Corporation (i.e. Dish Network).
And despite a warning from the GAC, who worried about monopolization concerns, .data was delegated to Dish DBS.
.phone, .mobile — December 20
Similarly, it's surprising that .phone and .mobile only received two applications each (Amazon dropped their .mobile application) one from Donuts, the other from Dish. In this case, just as with .data, the GAC objected to Dish's applications for the same reasons, however Dish was in the end delegated this TLD with the back end provided by Afilias for each.
.fun — December 21
While .fun would have been a, well, fun generic TLD, Oriental Trading Company, who were ultimately awarded with the delegation of this string planned to use it as a brand TLD or a "closed TLD." As it turns out, though, the fun twist ending to the story is that Oriental Trading Company wound up auctioning off the rights to .fun to Radix Registry in October, just in time for it to be delegated last month.
Well, though it may not have been gripping, edge-of-your-seat drama, there were some twists and turns this month. Come back next month to see what surprises await ...
Remember, though, that while we try to gain accreditation for as many TLDs as possible, just because you see these on our list here doesn't mean we'll be able to offer any of these soon (though in some cases we can and will be).