ICANN approves change to Internet domain name system

The board of directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved an increase in the number of Internet domain name endings, known as generic top-level domains (gTLDs), from the current 22.

As a result of the decision arrived on Monday by the board of directors at a meeting in Singapore, Internet users may start seeing new domain name extensions in addition to the more familiar .com, .org, and .net. The current 22 gTLDs also include some country-level domains such as .uk and .in.

The move will not only benefit companies, but also regions and cities that can now use more relevant domain name extensions, said Rajesh Chharia, president of Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI).

The decision respects the rights of groups to create new top-level domains in any language and script, ICANN said in a statement.

The board vote was 13 in approval, 1 opposing, and 2 abstaining.

Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways, ICANN said.

Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from Jan. 12 to April 12 next year.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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