News24

2 000 web suffix applications received

2012-06-13 21:01

London - Move over .com - it might have to compete with suffixes such as .music, .miami and .insurance after the body in charge of website domain names unveiled some 2 000 applications for new ones Wednesday.

The US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) revealed details of 1 930 requests for new web address endings at a press conference in London.

The California-based body says the huge expansion of the internet, with two billion users around the world, half of them in Asia, means the new names are essential.

There are currently just 22 generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, in use, including .com.

Among the new applications are six for .baby and nine for .blog, while many of the requests are from large companies, including Apple, Mitsubishi and IBM.

US-based companies


Icann said nearly half of the applications came from US-based organisations.

A total of 911 organisations from North America paid the $185000 fee to lodge an application, along with 675 from Europe and 303 from the Asia-Pacific region.

Just 17 applications for new suffixes were received from applicants in Africa, while 24 requests came from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Icann said 66 of the proposals were linked to geographical locations - such as .nyc, .miami and .paris - while others relate to industries, such as .insurance.

The body also revealed that 116 of the claims are for what it termed "internationalised domain names" - addresses that are not in the Latin alphabet.

"That means that if you're a person living in China or in somewhere in India then you might have the opportunity to use the internet purely in your native script," Icann's president and chief executive, Rod Beckstrom said.
"It's going to make the internet more approachable for people."

Icann began taking applications in January, and expects the first new address to go live between April and June 2013.

$352m

On top of the registration fees, maintaining a suffix will cost $25 000 annually. Icann has raised $352m in application fees.

ICM Registry, which runs the freshly established gTLD .xxx, hopes to add other online red-light districts ending in .sex, .porn or .adult.

Google has applied for .YouTube, for its video-sharing website, and .lol - internet slang for "laugh out loud" - along with .google.

Dubai-based web hosting firm Directi, meanwhile, has spent around $30m applying for new domains, including .law, .bank and .doctor.