Internet Body Okays Corporate Web Suffixes

In a major development, the Internet body approves corporate web suffixes. This is the first time a big change like this has been approved since the .com was created more than a quarter of a century ago. What this means is that now besides the website address ending in the usual .com, .org, .net, etc., corporate entities can get websites that end in their brand name. For example, .pepsi, .chevrolet, and the likes.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN) on Monday, voted overwhelmingly to okay the proposal, at a meeting held in Singapore. Although there was a little apprehension that this move might create some sort of confusion for users on the Internet, there was just a single vote that opposed the proposal, with the count being 13:1. There have already been more than a hundred well known companies who have openly expressed their desire to go in for this new system, simple reason being that it will lift their brand name.

ICANN chairman Peter Thrush said, “Tremendous opportunity for people to take control of this aspect of their branding and develop it in their own way.” The only board member who voted against the proposal, George Sadowsky, said, “I believe that it is not ICANN’s job to influence the choice of winners and losers in such competitions, and that is implicitly what we will be doing.” ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom said, “Applications for the new web suffixes will open on January 12 next year and close 90 days later. The first possible time at which some of the applications could be approved would be late in 2012. If you scroll through one of those lists… You’ll probably see some major brand owners, some major companies in the world, some major brands, cities, regions and other different types of communities.”

Though the Internet body approved this corporate web suffixes proposal, they however are not going to come cheap and easy. Just for applying for a web suffix, a company would have to pay USD 185,000, and then later meet a lot of terms and conditions, before they can manage to get one for themselves. ICAAN gave two reasons for this. “The fee is needed to recoup the costs associated with the new gTLD programme and to ensure that it is fully funded. It would also weed out opportunistic applicants seeking to resell domain names for a profit after buying them cheaply, a problem in the earlier days of the Internet. Only “established corporations, organizations, or institutions in good standing” may apply for a new gTLD.” And very importantly, individual entities and sole proprietors cannot apply for this system.

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