ICANN Launches New gTLDs Program and Begins Accepting Applications on 12 January 2012

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has launched its new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program and began accepting applications for gTLDs according to the revised domain name system on 12 January 2012.  
Under the new system, companies and organizations may choose arbitrary top level Internet domains, rather than the 22 domain names such as .com, .org, .net and a host of others as previously prescribed. The use of non-Latin characters (such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese) is also allowed in gTLDs.
Application of a new name costs US$185,000. Upon approval of application an initialization payment of US$500,000 and an annual fee thereafter of US$100,000 are required. Deadline for the first batch applications, which is limiting to 500 applications according to ICANN, is 12 April 2012.