The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the body that develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers or domain names, said on Monday it had approved a plan to allow custom generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
Currently, there are only 22 gTLDs, including the likes of .com, .net and .org. There are also about 250 country-level domains, such as .za and .uk.
The application process for the new gTLDs is both lengthy and costly. Applicants will have to complete an extensive application form, prove that they are established private or public organisations, and demonstrate that their claim to a specific domain is legitimate.
Customs gTLDs will cost US$185 000 to register and $25 000/year thereafter, which should keep opportunistic domain squatters hoping to bag things like face.book or mercedes.benz.
Applications for custom top-level domains will be accepted between 12 January 2012 and 12 April 2012 and the actual domains should be in operation by the end of that year. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
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