Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ICANN approves introduction of new names

Global Internet administrator, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved the introduction of new names as Internet addressing system.

Chief executive, ICANN, Dr. Paul Twomey, who disclosed this at the end of ICANN 32nd meeting in Paris, France, said the approval would see to a whole range of new names to be introduced soon.

This follows the recommendation by stakeholders for an increased availability of names that could be used as Internet addressing system beyond the commonly used ones like .com, .org, .info to name a few.

Currently, Internet users have a limited range of 21 Top Level Domains (TLD) to choose from, even as this proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable.

Media adviser at ICANN, Jason Keenan explained in a press statement made available to ITRealms that its expected that applicants will apply for targeted community strings such as the existing .travel for the travel industry and .cat for the Catalan community as well as generic strings like .brandname or .yournamehere. There are already interested consortiums wanting to establish city-based top level domain, like .nyc (or New York City, .berlin and .paris among others.

Keenan quoted Dr. Twomey as saying that the board has accepted a recommendation from the global stakeholders that it is possible to implement many new names to the Internet, which paves the way for an expansion of domain name choice and opportunity.
Twomey stressed that a final version of the implementation plan must be approved by the ICANN board before the new process is launched.

Thus, he said, its intended that the final version will be published in early 2009.
According to him, “The potential here is huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net. It’s a massive increase in the ‘real estate’ of the Internet.”

Also commenting, ICANN’s chairman, Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush, pointed out that its one of the most exciting prospect before the current board to expand the system which is also being planned to support extensions in the languages of the world.
“This is going to be very important for the future of the Internet in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. The present system only supports 37 Roman characters,” Thrush said.

Upon approval of the implementation plan, it is planned that applications for new names will be available in the second quarter of 2009.

In addition, Keenan said that ICANN is not “selling” new top level domain names, noting that there will be a limited application period where any established entity from anywhere in the world could submit an application that will go through an evaluation process.

“It is anticipated that there will be additional rounds relatively soon after the close of the first application round,” he said.

Emphasizing that the latest approval when on stream would ensure that trademarks will not be automatically reserved, but there will be an objection-based mechanism for trademark owners where their arguments for protection will be considered.

He stressed that the proposal came about based on the ICANN’s multi-stakeholder policy development process that served as the foundation for the process design, which involved consultation with domain name industry, trade mark attorneys, the business sector, users, governments and technicians.

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