Internet Gets Ready for "Dot-Anything"

Up until now, most Internet addresses have ended in ".com," ".net" or ".org." Well, get ready for ".anything."

The folks who regulate Internet domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), approved a new rule on Monday that would allow companies and people to register any domain suffix they want.

For example, a company like Coca Cola could choose to have its web address end in ".cocacola." Or the address could simply be one word with no suffix at all -- "cocacola."

"This may be the dawn of a new age of online innovation in the domain-name space," said ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, "The Internet's addressing system has just been opened up to the limitless possibilities of human imagination and creativity."

But these new addresses will not come cheap. The application fee will be $185,000, and the annual fee will be $25,000. ICANN said the high cost is based on the estimated expenses of processing the application, including possible litigation over disputes over who gets to use certain names.

Applications will be accepted from January 12, 2012 to April 12. The new domains should begin appearing online by late 2012, reports The Wall Street Journal.


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