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ICANN May Add Hundreds of New Domains

  • BBC News, Thursday, June 26, 2008 11:17 AM
ICANN, the Internet's California-based regulator, will soon vote on whether to begin a complete overhaul of the way people navigate the Internet. The organization, which stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, will decide if the strict rules on so-called top-level domain names such as .com and .edu, can be relaxed. If approved, the move would allow firms to turn brands and individuals' names into Web addresses. The move would also allow names written in Chinese or Arabic.

"We are making it open for anyone to apply in any character set, not just Roman characters," ICANN CEO Dr Paul Twomey said, adding that the proposals would result in the biggest change to the way the Internet has worked in decades. "The impact of this will be different in different parts of the world," he said, "but it will allow groups, communities and business to express their identities online."

Not only that, but think of the domain name-buying bonanza that would result. "Like the United States in the 19th Century, we are in the process of opening up new real estate, new land, and people will go out and claim parts of that land and use it for various reasons they have," Twomey said. "It's a massive increase in the geography of the real estate of the internet."

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