News / Science & Technology

New Internet Name Rule Opens Door to Huge Changes

A man works on a computer at an internet cafe in Beijing, China. (file photo)
A man works on a computer at an internet cafe in Beijing, China. (file photo)

The regulatory body that oversees Internet domain names has agreed to end restrictions on suffixes for site names, a change that will dramatically increase the number of possible site names while opening up new branding opportunities for companies, cities and others.  

Currently, Internet site owners are limited to a handful of suffixes, such as dot.com, dot.org or dot.gov.

But starting in January registrants will be able to invent their own suffixes.  

Major companies are expected to create suffixes with their own names. Japanese electronics giant, Canon, has already said it plans to apply for rights to use domain names ending with dot-canon.  The German capital city, Berlin, has reportedly expressed interest in a dot.berlin suffix. Other suffixes could help organize the Internet by language, geography or industry.

The change was overwhelmingly approved Monday in Singapore in a vote of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

The Los Angeles-based non-profit organization is expected to begin taking applications for the new names on January 12.

Brad White, ICANN's director of global media affairs, says opening the Internet address system will have far-reaching social and commercial impact.

"It will afford a possibility for innovation, creativity, branding, marketing.  We can't fully predict the impact that this change will have, but we know it will have tremendous impact, in much the same way that nobody could predict social media. Nobody could predict the popularity of Skype. No one could predict the popularity of Facebook or Twitter. What we have done is removed a barrier to innovation," says White.

There are currently 22 generic top-level domains, also known as gTLDs.  Dot.com, dot.org and dot.info are a few examples. There are also about 250 country-level domains like dot.uk for Britain or dot.cn for China.

Several hundred new gTLDs are expected to come into existence under the new system.

In addition to the interest of big corporate brands, organizations such as cities or other communities are expected to apply. However, with an initial price tag of $185,000 for each application, none but the richest individuals can be expected to seek their own personal domains.

Still, the move is an opportunity for commercial brands to gain more control over their on-line presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their websites.

Brad White, of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names, says the new suffixes will have other benefits.

"One of the biggest changes that this will mean to the Internet is an expansion of the use of non-Latin characters. So, people who speak Cyrillic, or Arabic or Chinese can now use their own generic top-level domains at the end of an Internet address. It will vastly, we believe, increase the number of Internet users," he says.

The new domain system will also change how ICANN works. Until now, it has overseen names and performed some other tasks, but has had little involvement in the Internet's thornier issues.

With the new changes, ICANN will have a role in policing how gTLDs are operated, bought and sold.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid