Move over Dot Com

11 01 2012

So the ICANN organization, which overseas the regulation of domain names on the Internet, is planning to open domain names up so that (almost) any name can be used as a top-level domain. Translation: instead of having to find and purchase a “.com” domain name, companies and organizations can apply to ICANN to get a tailored top-level domain. In the future we might see corporations trying to set up top-level domains using their company name (think: .pepsi, .nike, .apple). We could also see cities or organizations moving to this type of URL (think: .nyc, .un, .imf).

It’s kind of like having your own vanity licence plate – albeit a very expensive licence plate: just to apply for one of these custom top-level domains it will cost about $185,000. Critics suggest that the price is out of range for many not-for-profit organizations. They also claim that such a system will be hard to regulate and will be confusing for internet users, but supporters suggest that sticking with the relatively few top-level domains that we currently use doesn’t make sense when there are millions of websites. Something has to be done – so an appeal to vanity might just do the trick.

BBC has the story here.