ICANN's gTLD Registry area encompasses information about both sponsored and unsponsored generic top-level domains. The relationships between ICANN and the gTLD registries are governed by the individual Registry or Sponsorship Agreements, which set out the obligations of both parties.
Basic TLD Information
The right-most label in a domain name is referred to as its "top-level domain" (TLD). TLDs with two letters have been established for over 250 countries and external territories and are referred to as "country-code" TLDs or "ccTLDs". TLDs with three or more characters are referred to as "generic" TLDs, or "gTLDs".
The responsibility for operating each TLD (including maintaining a registry of the domain names within the TLD) is delegated to a particular organization. These organizations are referred to as "registry operators" or "sponsors". Currently, domain names under the following gTLDs are available, and the corresponding registries are under contract with ICANN: .aero, .asia, .biz, .cat, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .name, .net, .org, .pro, .tel and .travel.
Generally speaking, an unsponsored gTLD Registry operates under policies established by the global Internet community directly through the ICANN process. .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro are unsponsored TLDs.
A sponsored TLD is a specialized TLD that has a sponsor representing a specific community that is served by the TLD. The sponsor thus carries out delegated policy-formulation responsibilities over many matters concerning the TLD. .aero, .asia, .cat, .coop, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .tel and .travel are sponsored TLDs.
What We Do
As the business environment changes, and technology continues to develop, ICANN staff works closely with the gTLD registries to review and adapt the provisions of the Registry and Sponsorship Agreements.