Jan 12, 2012 ICANN Begins Accepting Requests for Generic Domains
The days of .Anything are here.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today began to accept applications for generic top-level domain names. ICANN is responsible for coordinating the Internet’s system of unique identifiers worldwide. Under past policy, generic top-level domains were limited to 22 familiar choices (.com, .info, .biz, etc.). With the policy shift, there will be, in theory, no limit on the number of names – and for the first time naming will be open to non-Western characters. Not all applications will be accepted, ICANN points out, though they expect a high ratio of acceptance. And there will be a non-refundable application fee of $185,000.
So, is this good news or bad news? In a word, yes.
In the plus column, corporations and major organizations will be able to better extend their brands online. Watch for .coke and .electRomney in the near future. Some smaller owners of existing .com’s will see their value increase, as they will continue to stand out in a growing crowd.
However, the change will have a significant downside for untrademarked brands, especially smaller companies: they could be forced to depend on larger organizations for access to extensions they need, such as .pizza for a pizzeria.