The conventional website domain names with three letter TLDs such as .com, .org and .gov may soon be history as ICANN has approved the use of almost any name as a TLD. The largest ever expansion of the internet naming system we know today may be rolled out as soon as this summer and we will begin to see full names as TLDs. Some of the new domains proposed include .book, .google, .apple and .nyc. This is the largest expansion in more than 10 years and it is a very complicated process that has suffered technical delays and raised a lot of concerns from critics according to CNN. ICANN, short for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the non-profit group accorded the responsibility of approving top level domains.
The new generic top-level domain system (gTLD) was formally approved by ICANN in June 2011. A year later in June 2012, ICANN received over 1,930 proposals for new domain names, charging a whopping $185,000 per proposal. ICANN says that the high fee charged per proposal was used to cover the extensive reviews that each proposal required. It is also revealed that the new gTLDs will further cost companies approved thousands and in some cases millions annually to set up and maintain a single domain.
Were the new gTLDs are necessary? ICANN says yes!
The new generic top-level domain setup was necessitated by the saturation of the current .com, .co and .net top level domains and this expansion is viewed as the best approach to give website ‘good’ addresses according to ICANN. The new domains will also help companies market their name and protect ordinary users from phishing and scamming sites as their genuine address will have a suffix of the company name such as .google and not google.com.
ICANN defends the cost of obtaining the new top level domains saying that these are just the initial steps of evaluating and reviewing applications and that the cost will definitely come lower over time. At the moment, 514 domain applications have passed the evaluation and companies and brands can begin launching them as soon as this summer. Some of the most popular names in the tech industry already approved include .google, .apple, .aol, .netflix, .amazon, .acer, .android, .antivirus (Symantec), .microsoft, and .samsung. Conspicously missing are .facebook and .twitter. Follow this link to see a full list of approved gTLDs.
Big companies that could afford it applied for, and got, more than one gTLDs e.g. Google which applied for 101 domains and Amazon which applied for 76. Some applications overlapped for instance Google and Amazon overlapped on 20 names including .buy, .music, .free and .book. ICANN says that .home and .inc were the most applied for at 13 each. Some of these overlapped suffices are expected to take longer to roll out as ICANN has to sort out the multiple applications.
Critics argue that the process of introducing the new generic domain name suffixes process changes the internet drastically and is an expensive unnecessary complication. What do you think?
Source: CNN Money