ICANN, the organization that runs the world's domain names, today released a first round list of applications for new domain name extensions, some of which will become a regular part of our Internet lexicon and some of which will fade away into oblivion. "It's a historic day for the Internet," said ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom. "The internet is about to change forever." Note the phrase "about to change." We haven't gotten to the changing part yet. We're just in the beginning stages of this momentous process. But given that it's Internet changing, we'd like to know a little bit more about how we get from today to changed-Internet.
Phase 1: Reveal Day
What happens: ICANN released this list of 1,930 applications for additions to the standard suffixes like .com, .net, .org, of which there are currently only 22. The application process cost each organization -- company or country -- $185,000 per domain, meaning ICANN made somewhere around $350 million dollars on the process. It claims that money will fund the rest of the process, according to its FAQ page.
ICANN is a not-for-profit organization and this is a not-for-profit initiative. The program is designed to be self-funding. It is possible ICANN will over-collect or even under-collect for this first round of applications. If the fee collection exceeds ICANN's expenses, the community will be consulted as to how that excess should be used.
Half of the applications came from U.S. companies, possibly because of that hefty price tag. Companies in Africa applied for 17, including South African pay TV company MultiChoice which has applied for .AfricaMagic. Internet big-wig Google came in with the most applications, 101 in total including their big products, like .youtube and .plus and less obvious ones like .pet and three in non-Roman characters, per the Google Blog. Amazon came in second with over 70 applications.