ICANN Approves Significant Change in Internet Address Naming Rules

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the oversight agency for domain name registrations, has approved a plan to introduce significant change in rules for the existing domain name system at its special board meeting in Singapore on 20 June 2011.

The decision is believed to bring about dramatic increase in the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in Internet address endings from the current 22, including such common suffixes as “.com”, “.org” and “.net”. With the relaxation of rules to allow any language scripts in free word combination as a top-level domain, businesses and organizations around the world are offered the chance to structure their online presence and market their brands, products, or cause in diversified ways. It is, nevertheless, not cheap to secure such an Internet location though. The whole process is estimated to cost the applicant US500,000 to US1 million, including an initial application fee of US$185,000, and successful registrations are to be maintained on a fee of US$25,000 annually.

Applications for new gTLDs, which is approved on a first-to-file basis, will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012. ICANN expected the number of gTLDs to be expanded by a thousand at the end of 2012 when first batch of new domain names have appeared by then, bringing in such website suffixes as “.shop”, “.green”, “.toys”, “.hotel”, “.berlin”, “.apple”, “.ibm”, “.cannon”, and the list just goes on as afforded by human imagination.