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Icann paves the way for new top-level domains

Derek Iwasiuk
June 30, 2008

The most dramatic expansion of virtual real estate for the last 25 years is on the way after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a proposal for implementation of new Internet extensions. Currently, users are limited to choose from 21 top level domains such as .com, .org, .info which have been tightly regulated. After this vote, the number of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will significantly grow in the next years.

An important point of this move is to open up the system to support extensions in the different languages. Having in mind that the existing system supports only 37 Roman characters and that a large part of the world's population is not familiar with the Roman alphabet, this decision will contribute for the further evolution and popularization of the internet.

The ICANN Board is expected to approve the final version of the implementation plan which is likely to be launched in the second quarter of 2009.

Any established business can submit its application and go through an evaluation process ensuring that the offered TLD isn't offensive and doesn't infringe on the intellectual property. The entities must must prove that they are capable of managing the TLD or can reach a deal with a company that will be. The registration fee will be between $100,000 and $500,000.

"We will start accepting applications in April and May next year," ICANN Chief Executive Paul Twomey said in Paris, where the milestone meeting was held. "We don't know how many we'll get. I expect it will be hundreds or thousands, but it may be tens of thousands."

Companies will be able to secure domain names easily based on their intellectual property. "There will be opportunities to protect brand names by appealing if someone else has put forward their brand," said Dr Twomey and added that ‘If there is a dispute, we will try and get the parties together to work it out. But if that fails there will be an auction and the domain will go to the highest bidder."

While some of the critics argue that it is very likely for the consumers to be confused using unfamiliar addresses, some are getting ready for an Internet gold rush.

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Title: ICANN/New TLD Parody Site June 30, 2008
Comment by Local Guy

Well, the ideas for the new TLDs should prove to be a lot of fun anyway:



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