Sky’s the Limit From Now On with Domain Names

Tired of your home-based or other small business opportunity or franchise being just some ordinary .com, .org or .net? 

Thanks to a crucial vote on Monday by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)―the regulatory body that oversees Internet domain names―you don’t have to be just like everybody else anymore.

Now anyone with a website address can choose to end it with almost any word in any language!

“ICANN has opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination.  (The ICANN Board’s) decision respects the rights of groups to create Top Level Domains in any language or script,” said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind.”

There are currently just 22 approved domain name endings (aka generic top-level domains or gTLDs), of which the three most commonly recognized―.com, .org and .net―are a part.  In addition, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 country-level domains, such as .uk or .cn.

Given the opportunity to now brand and market themselves in new and innovative ways, corporations and cities are expected to be among the first applicants to register for a new gTLD when the process officially gets underway on January 12, 2012.  Applications then will be accepted over a three-month period until April 12.

Changes to the gTLD program and Applicant Guidebook are being made only after years of careful consideration about the impact they might have on the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet, according to ICANN’s recent statement on the subject.  In addition, the organization plans to initiate a global campaign to inform the world about this dramatic change soon.

In the meantime, businesses, individuals and organizations of all kinds, shapes and sizes―anyone with an Internet presence―would do well to give thought to how they can make the most of this groundbreaking development.  “(This) decision will usher in a new Internet age,” said ICANN’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Dengate Thrush.  “We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration.”