During a special meeting in Singapore, ICANN’s Board of Directors approved one of the most historic changes to the Internet’s Domain Name System in its history. The Board voted to increase the number of generic top-level domains from the current 22, which includes the popular .com , .net, and .org.
“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 approval of these new gTLDs not only changes the domain industry, but essentially the Internet as a whole. The way that individuals find information online and the way that businesses present themselves on the Internet will be dramatically different and the opportunities are endless.
“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity.”
New gTLDS will be allowed to end with almost any word in any language. This not only presents companies with a new and unique opportunity to market and brand themselves, but will give communities and causes an innovative approach as well. For example, Microsoft could now own windows.microsoft instead of windows.microsoft.com and organizations such as the Red Cross could own .redcross rather than redcross.org.
“Today’s decision will usher in a new Internet age,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN’s Board of Directors. “We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration.”
Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted starting January 2012 through April 2012, with initial evaluations being made in November 2012.