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New Generic Top-Level Domains Released
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has released a list of proposed new domain names. A generic top-level domain, or gTLD, is the part of an Internet address after the dot -- like dot-com or dot-org.
Currently there are 22 of these top-level domains in use. But there soon could be as many as a thousand or more. Rod Beckstrom is president of ICANN. He says the organization received almost 2,000 requests for new domains during the application period, which ended in May. He called the release a historic day for the Internet and for more than two billion people around the world who depend on it. He said the Internet is about to change forever.
More than 900 of the requests for new generic top-level domains came from North America. Only seventeen were from Africa. Each application required a payment of $185,000. Some businesses like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google applied for domain name extensions. Dot-app was one of the most sought after names. ICANN received 13 requests for the right to own that one. There were three applications for dot-dog, but none for dot-cat. Dot-love, dot-wedding, dot-sexy and dot-porn also made the list of proposed top-level domains. But Mr. Beckstrom says no names are guaranteed. These are just applications that are not yet approved, and some may not be.
In his words, "None of them will enter the Internet until they have undergone a rigorous, objective and independent evaluation." ICANN began a 60-day comment period when it released the list in June. It also began a seven-month objection period. An ICANN spokesman said this is for anyone who wants to oppose an application for a domain name. The spokesman said objections will be decided in a "formal, independent dispute-resolution process." ICANN says it will begin processing the applications for new top-level domain names in batches of 500 at a time. The first group is not expected to begin operating until the first part of 2013. ICANN will approve no more than 1,000 new generic top-level domain names each year. ICANN apologized for accidentally publishing some of the contact details of those requesting new domains. ICANN admitted placing the mailing addresses and contact information for some individuals on its website. The group has since removed that information.
For VOA Special English, I'm Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 18Jun2012)