Verisign Launches Hebrew gTLD As It Struggles To Make An Impact With IDN gTLDs

Verisign has launched a phased rollout of the קום. new gTLD with a Sunrise period having commenced on 30 July and running through until 4 September. The registry operator for .com and .net has struggled to make an impact with the first 3 of their IDN gTLDs that launched into General Availability 2 years ago as registrations haven’t even made the 15,000 mark to date.

The Hebrew script internationalised domain name is a transliteration of .com, but also translates to “place” or “get up” if you use an online translation service. It takes to 11 the number of IDN new generic top level domains from Verisign. 3 of these have made it to General Availability – .コム, Japanese for .com, which has 6,570 registrations according to nTLDstats, .닷컴 (Korean for .com – 6,470) and .닷넷 (Korean for .net – 1,557). The remaining 7 are yet to launch and there are 14,600 domain names registered across the gTLDs.

The קום. gTLD is aimed at companies wanting to build their credibility, grow their business and expand their customer base within the Hebrew-speaking community. A domain name in קום. can also be used to redirect users/potential customers to company social media or e-commerce pages. Moreover, registering a Hebrew domain name in קום. can help make business and individual website addresses easier to type and remember for native Hebrew speakers. Notably, a Verisign survey conducted in Israel in September 2017, comprised of 150 decision makers in small and medium-sized businesses with up to 30 employees, found that 69 percent of respondents would register a domain name that’s fully in Hebrew if they could.

Prospective registrants who wish to register a domain name during the Sunrise Period for קום. must have a valid Signed Mark Data (SMD) file from ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse at the time of registration. During the Sunrise Period, these prospective registrants will be able to register each available second-level domain name (SLDN) in קום., that is an exact match of each SLDN permitted by their SMD file(s). All registrations during the Sunrise Period will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following the Sunrise Period, there will be a Priority Access Program Period for קום. – an exclusive registration period during which eligible .com registrants will have the exclusive right to register the SLDN in קום. that is an exact match of their existing SLDN registered in .com, provided that the registrant registers the matching SLDN in קום. through the registrar that is the registrar-of-record for the registrant’s existing SLDN in .com. All registrations during the Priority Access Program Period for קום. are subject to availability and the applicable registry policies.

A Landrush Program Period will follow the Priority Access Program Period for קום. and will be open to all potential registrants to register their domain names on a first-come, first-served basis in advance of the General Registration Period for an additional fee. Landrush will last approximately five weeks and will be followed by the General Registration Period.

The registration periods for קום. currently are:

  • Sunrise Period: July 30, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Sept. 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • Priority Access Program Period: Sept. 5, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Oct. 1, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • Land Rush Period: Oct. 2, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Nov. 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • General Registration Period Start Date: Nov. 5, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC
  • Trademark Claims Period: Sept. 5, 2018 at 00:00:00 UTC – Feb. 3, 2019 at 23:59:59 UTC (Mandatory
  • Trademark Claims Services during Priority Access Program Period, Land Rush Period, and first 90 days of General Registration Period).

Both IDN and ASCII SLDNs may be registered in קום.

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