Internet Domains Expand From '.com' to Pretty Much Anything

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Internet addresses will now be freed from the dreary choice of suffixes like ".com" or ".org," declared the ruling global internet body, Icann, in a decision made on Monday in Singapore. Soon, for a $185,000 upfront applicant fee, you too may one day be able to have a domain of ".yourpetsname," or ".placeyoulive" or, as Bloomberg noted, ".anything." The idea, it seems, is to help free up the web from cyber-squatters who buy up domain names and then mark them up.

The Guardian calls the domain expansion the "biggest change to the internet's domain naming system since '.com' was introduced 26 years ago." Bloomberg reported that the change could prompt large companies to be even more vigilant about seizing any and all domain names associated with their brand. And the Los Angeles Times writes that the initial expansion will include up to 500 more domain suffixes (up from the current 22), and notes that the hope is that the limitless options will "undo naming gridlock" and make the system "safer and more intuitive."

Icann's chief seemed the most euphoric about the move. "Icann has opened the internet's addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination," said president Rod Beckstrom to BBC News. He then added this line: "No one can predict where this historic decision will take us."

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