In a historic decision, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has voted to allow the creation of new website domain suffixes. The change marks the largest shake up of the online world since the introduction of .com in 1985.
From next year, Icann will begin taking applications for Internet address names that can end with almost any word and be in any language. Large corporations and cities expected to be among the first applicants.
“Icann has opened the internet’s addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination,” said Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive officer for Icann. No one can predict where this historic decision will take us.”
The current roster of 22 TLD’s (Top Level Domains) as well as about 250 country-level domains, will soon be joined several hundred new Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD’s), which are likely to include .coke, .google and .nike.
It’s a move that it is open to all, but the cost is likely to be prohibitive to all but the largest organisations, as applicants will need to provide the fee of $185,000 (£114,000) along with evidence to support their claim over a particular name.
This is an enormous decision that is likely to have a lasting impact on the internet market. It might be sometime before the full effects are felt by the average internet user, but there is no doubt the change is coming and it’s going to be big!