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The .whatever web address coming soon

Posted on Jun 21 | No Comments | | Print this

SINGAPORE: A quarter-century after the creation of “.com,” the agency that assigns Internet addresses is loosening its rules and allowing suffixes named after brands, hobbies, political causes and just about anything else.

Under the guidelines approved Monday, Apple could register addresses ending in “.ipad,” Citi and Chase could share “.bank” and environmental groups could go after “.eco.” Japan could have “.com” in Japanese.

It’s the biggest change to the system of Internet addresses since it was created in 1984.

More than 300 suffixes are available today, but only a handful, such as the familiar “.net” and “.com,” are open for general use worldwide. Hundreds of new suffixes could be established by late next year, thousands in years to come.

“This is the start of a whole new phase for the Internet,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the California nonprofit organisation in charge of Internet addresses.

The novelty addresses will be costly – US$185,000 (RM555,000) to apply and US$25,000 (RM75,000) a year to maintain one. A personal address with a common suffix such as “.com” usually costs less than US$10 (RM30) a year.

ICANN said it costs tens of millions of dollars to write the guidelines for suffixes, review applications and resolve any disputes. Even with the hefty fees, the organisation said it plans only to break even. It’s also setting aside up to US$2mil (RM6mil) to subsidise applications from developing countries.


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This page was last updated on 19th October, 2011
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