Last year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), officially opened the naming convention so that anyone with $180,000 and a dream could buy their own their own top-level domain (TLD). For the foreseeable future, however, today is the deadline to file the application. Top-level domains refer to the very top of the Web’s naming system, and presently include the 22 generic TLDs such as .com, .org and .net., along with the 250 or so country code TLDs (such as .fr for France, .de for Germany or .ru for Russia).
Now, however, “the most dramatic shake-up of the internet’s naming system could see the introduction of over 1,000 new ‘top level domains,’” suggests The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog. “The plan is to allow the introduction of the so-called ‘.brands’ so that, for example, Apple could purchase .apple (rather than www.apple.com).”
Also available -- at least at the time of ICANN’s initial announcement -- are more generic extensions, such as .music, .web, .beer, .pizza and .sport. According to Digits, when new registrations closed late last month, there were already 839 registered users on the system. ICANN, meanwhile, is expected to announce the details of the process in the week beginning April 30.