ICANN Proposes Domain Name Shake-Up
By Staff
In Paris, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has announced that its has approved a recommendation that could soon see a whole new range of names introduced to the online world’s addressing system.

Non-profit ICANN is the Internet’s main oversight agency for top level domains stated that, if passed, its new system could see the introduction of endless variations of names.

'The Board today accepted a recommendation from its global stakeholders that it is possible to implement many new names to the Internet, paving the way for an expansion of domain name choice and opportunity,' said Paul Twomey, President and Chief Executive Officer for ICANN.

The California and Belgium-based group stated that its Board must approve a final version of the implementation plan before the new process is launched, which could start as early as the second quarter of next year.

'The potential here is huge,” said Twomey.

“It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the net. It's a massive increase in the 'real estate' of the Internet.'

Presently, users have a limited range of 21 top-level domains to choose from such as .com, .org and .info. But the new proposals would allow applicants to self-select their domain name with choices that are the most appropriate for their customers or marketable. It is expected that applicants will apply for targeted community strings such as .travel for the travel industry and .cat for the Catalan community in Spain as well as generic strings like .brandname or .yournamehere. There are already interested consortiums wanting to establish city-based domain such as .nyc for New York City, .berlin and .paris.

'One of the most exciting prospect before us is that the expanding system is also being planned to support extensions in the languages of the world,' said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman for ICANN.

'This is going to be very important for the future of the Internet in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia.”

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