Someone may have pulled their thumb out of the Internet dike which might explain why now a flood of domain names is on the way. ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names) has agreed to open the system and allow most any organization with enough money to create its own new .com substitute. That means we could see .Reba or .Pepsi or .Trump. The new virtual naming system will be pricey, costing those wanting a new domain tag a tidy $185,000. The paperwork to secure this new moniker will also be complex and require technical capability.
According to the L.A. Times:
Internet observers expect that the initial expansion might bring 500 new options for site suffixes, which are called generic top-level domain names (or gTLDs). There are only 22 now, including the original eight, (.com, .edu, .gov, .int., .mil, .net, .org and .arpa).
Starting in 2000, ICANN has added 14 new top-level domains, including .biz, .info and .jobs. Few of the new names have caught on, with .com remaining the standard across many industries, even though it can be difficult and expensive to find new .com names, with the most desirable long ago snapped up by companies, individuals and cybersquatters.
Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People For Internet Responsibility and founder of Privacy Forum, believes the plan serves the “domain-industry complex” at the expense of everyone else. She tells Information Week:
“I believe we may see billions of dollars being wasted in ICANN’s new gigantic gTLD ‘domain name space’–mostly from firms falsely hoodwinked into thinking that new domain names will be their paths to Internet riches, and from firms trying to protect their names in this vastly expanded space, ripe for abuses.”
ICANN expects to begin accepting applications starting January 12, 2012.