New Top Level Domains on the Internet
The international organization that is responsible for controlling internet domain names (ICANN) has announced that it will accept suggestions for new top-level domain names starting in January 2012. At present there are 22 top level domains on the Internet and many more to come. Top level domains are at the highest level of the name system. The most popular are .com, .net and .org. Apart from these there are over 200 national domain names that belong to countries, like .uk for Great Britain or .jp for Japan.
Officials at ICANN say that they will be accepting any domain name, even those made up of characters that are not part the Latin alphabet. This is going to be the biggest change in the name system since the beginning of the Internet.
According to ICANN, anyone can apply for new names: governments, people and other organizations. The cost for a new top level domain is will be about 185,000 dollars. The organization says it will approve up to 1,000 top level domain names every year.
Not everyone is pleased with the new plan. Especially businesses and companies are against it because they fear that they may have to spend more money to obtain a new domain name with their brand name at the top level. According to the new plan Amazon, for example, could buy the top level domain .books or General Motors could register .cars. Big companies claim that new domain names will cause more confusion among customers.
The new system does, however, offer advantages. One example would be the creation of an .africa TLD which would make Africa more available than it is now. With the Internet booming in many African countries companies there could take advantage of this new name system and promote themselves worldwide.
ICANN has reacted to an increasing shortage of domain names. If you want, for example, a .COM name chances are you won’t get the one you want because it is already in use.
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- accept = allow
- according to = as said by …
- advantage = good side of something
- announce = to say officially
- apart from = in addition to
- apply = ask for
- approve = allow, create
- available = here: to be present
- brand name = the name of a company
- cause = lead to
- character = letter
- claim = to say that something is true
- confusion = misunderstanding, chaos
- customer = a person who buys things
- domain = the first part of a website’s address
- especially = above all
- increase = to become bigger
- Latin alphabet = characters and letters used in the western world
- obtain = get
- official = a person in a high position with a company
- pleased = happy about
- popular = well known
- promote = here: to make people aware of something
- register = apply for
- responsible = in charge of
- shortage = not enough of
- top level domain = the highest part of the name system