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ICANN Announces New Top-Level Domains

Bored with .com? Nagged by .net? The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has finally announced new top-level domains, the last part of the domain names we see so often in email addresses and URLs. Actually, it’s not quite that simple, and you can’t run out and register a new domain name using one of the top-level domains right away. ICANN has actually announced the selection of registry operators for seven new top-level domains; it must still negotiate registry agreements with the organizations that made the winning proposals, after which those agreements must be approved by ICANN’s board of directors and implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In short, we probably won’t see the new top-level domains appear until at least the second quarter of 2001. They are:

  • .aero
  • .biz
  • .coop
  • .info
  • .museum
  • .name
  • .pro

There were plenty of truly silly proposals, such as .shoes and .sucks, but a number of seemingly decent suggestions, such as .kids, .health, .sex, and .xxx, didn’t make the cut for a variety of reasons, including lack of sufficient technical experience and resources on the part of the proposed registry. ICANN’s Report on New TLD Applications offers ICANN’s analysis of the different suggestions – it’s worth a read.

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