Generic TLDs are coming- Look for .coke, .pepsi, .airline name spaces in domain name extensions

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If you see sucks.coke or sucks.pepsi, you can be sure that these websites are not anti-coke or anti-pepsi.  Brand name domain extensions will be open for registration next year. Get ready to register your family name .smith or .zuckerberg! But it comes with a cost.

There was a time when companies with brand names had to pay huge prices to buy domain names with their brand name from those who had snatched these pricey names on a first-come first-served basis. Some had to go to court to get their names protected.  No more!  Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit corporation headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, United States, has now "opened the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination."

But it will not come cheap. The new gTLD implementation will be fully self-funding. The primary ICANN fee will be the evaluation fee which is estimated to be $185,000. Applicants may also be required to pay other fees (paid directly to providers) in cases involving technical issues or disputes. As with existing registries, registries delegated will be required to pay ongoing ICANN registry fees.  Therefore, .smith may have to wait for a long time, as the cost is unlikely to come down in the near future.

In the web address, .com is the top-level domain (TLD), also called the name space in the domain name extension.  Once the gTLDs are registered, you will see we addresses such as delta

Considering the price involved, the existing .com, .net and .org TLDs are unlikely to loose their charm. When delta airlines would like to have .delta TLD, the one who is going to buy .airline is likely to reap profit by reselling names on this TLD, such as ticket.airline or eticket.airline and even delta.airline. Despite all the outlined benefits, there is going to be a lot of confusion among internet users in differentiating legitimate domain from fraudulent ones.

On June 20, 2011 at the Singapore meeting, ICANN's Board of Directors approved a plan to introduce one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet's Domain Name System. According to ICANN, Top Level Domain (TLD) names can be created in any language or script. During this special meeting the Board approved the plan to dramatically increase the number of Internet domain name endings -- called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) -- from the current 22, which includes such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net.

New gTLDs will change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence. Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.

"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.

The decision to proceed with the gTLD program follows many years of discussion, debate and deliberation with the Internet community, business groups and governments. The Applicant Guidebook, a rulebook explaining how to apply for a new gTLD, went through seven significant revisions to incorporate more than 1,000 comments from the public. Strong efforts were made to address the concerns of all interested parties, and to ensure that the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet are not compromised.

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