Revolution in the offing as ICANN allows expansion of Internet domain names

By Kul Bhushan Published Date
20 - Jun - 2011
| Last Updated
20 - Jun - 2011
Revolution in the offing as ICANN allows expansion of Internet do...

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) introduces one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet domain system as it has announced that it will allow organisations to add their own generic suffixes other than .com, .net or .org. The ICANN made the historic move at its 41st international convention in Singapore. The new website suffixes are most likely to appear by the end of next year. The suffixes will be categorised by subjects including ethnicity, industry and language scripts. The approval means businesses no longer are restricted to the list of general top level domains also known as gTLDs.

"ICANN has opened the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today's decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind," said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN. [RELATED_ARTICLE]

The move has so far received mixed reactions. Several critics suggest the new gTLDs may create a lot of confusion among consumers and companies. Critics are also apprehensive over the threats from the phishing sites. Companies, on the other hand, may seek to register their names in all possible domains or may create their own suffix to retain their unique identity.

Notwithstanding the concerns on the move, one must agree the fact: the need for larger gTLDs is increasingly becoming important, considering the growing number of languages being used on Internet. ICANN's historic move comes after years of deliberation on the matter. The global Internet coordinating body, however, adds the changes will not create confusion and that it will soon launch a campaign to educate people about it. It further said that it would start accepting new gTLDs applications from January 12.

ICANN believes the move will change the people's approach to the Internet and the way businesses chalk out their strategy. The changes, the Internet governing body says, will enable creation of domains with almost any word in any language, offering organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in innovative ways.