In a bid to revamp the internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for assigning internet addresses has announced a new wave of new internet domain names in a bid to expand and diversify away from the present list of some 300 website suffixes such as .org and .com.
The announcement by ICANN was revealed yesterday; with a full list of these newly proposed suffixes published which included such new additions as .ninja, .ferrari, .home and .diy. The organization revealed that it had received some 2,000 applications for the new domain names of which 166 were in a language other than English or using the Latin script.
Of course the majority of the proposals came from the US and Europe with 17 proposals coming from Africa and 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean. There was significant interest in the expansion from the Asia Pacific region, with 303 proposals from the region being registered even though such Asian giants as Samsung had objected to the move even though it had applied for the domain, .samsung and its equivalent in Korean.
Of course reactions to the expansion have been varied, with Stuart Durham of Melbourne ITDBS noting, “While Next and Boots are investing in a .brand for their online retail future, all the other big British retailers missed the boat. The big names of the internet have either invested massively or not at all. Amazon for example has applied for 76 names, Google for 101 and Microsoft 11. But there's no applications from Facebook or Twitter,” adding that, "There are different strategies in play here and some big gambles."
A breakdown of the proposals saw that of the 1930 proposals, 749 of them were for 229 different suffixes, while the remaining 1,181 were unique, meaning that 1,410 unique suffixes had been proposed and applied for.
Of course because of the similarities between the suffixes in certain cases, ICANN has proposed that ‘competing bidders’ reach their own agreements as seen in the case of pharmaceutical companies, American Merck & Co and German Merck KGaA which have both applied for .merck.
Commenting, ICANN's chief executive, Rod Beckstrom said, "The plan we have delivered is solid and fair. It is our fundamental obligation to increase innovation and consumer choice."
Present costs for the new domain names, if assigned, are around $185,000 with a $25,000 annual renewal charge. ICANN will shortly be entering into a vetting stage that will last for several months where it will invite public opinion and any possible objections to the expansion and new domain names. Once this had been done, ICANN proposes to launch the first batch of new domain names, around 500 or so, towards the middle of next year.