New Domain Names Reshape the Internet

June 13, 2012

The internet is getting bigger.

New generic top level domains (the .com part of the URL) are about to appear, and anyone with an extra $185,000 to toss around could apply for one.

On Wednesday, the group in charge of the expansion bonanza -- ICANN -- made the full list of submissions available to the public.

Not surprisingly, many of them came from huge corporations like AOL, Netflix and Wal-Mart who want the actual domains to read .AOL, .NETFLIX and .WALMART. Automakers Fiat, Chrysler and Volkswagen also applied, as did banks JPMorgan Chase and Barclays.

Altogether, ICANN received 1,930 requests for new gLTDs. Amazon submitted 76 of them, including .cloud, .music, .news, .pay and .store. Google racked up 102 proposals, spending a little over 1.8 million in the process.

Not all of the domains were so blatantly corporate, either -- .news, .web,, .lol and .pizza were also in the mix.

ICANN received multiple inquiries for domains like .sex, .home and .diy, which could lead to bidding wars between the interested parties. The most sought after name -- .app -- got 13 applications.

In its current iteration, the web has only 21 visitable domains (excluding geographic domains). ICANN added a smattering of gLTDs in the past, like .biz and .xxx. This is by far their most ambitious project though.

"This is a historic day for the Internet and the more than 2 billion people who use it," ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom said in a webcast announcement. "The Internet will be changed forever."

ICANN plans to roll-out the new domains roughly 500 at a time, with the first batch going live around March 2013.

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