Ten sponsors pitch new top-level domains
If approved, they would expand the Internet's pool of Web site addresses
IDG News Service - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has received applications for 10 new sponsored top-level domains that would help to expand the Internet's pool of Web site addresses by catering to narrower online communities.
The proposed sponsored top-level domains include .mobi, a new mobile top-level domain proposed by nine industry players aiming to advance the delivery of mobile content and services; .asia, sponsored by China's DotAsia Organization Ltd.; .jobs, sponsored by the U.S. Society for Human Resource Management; and .mail, sponsored by the U.K.'s Anti-Spam Community Registry.
The applications came in response to a request for proposals ICANN made in December and are now up for review in May by an independent evaluation panel, the group said Friday. A public comment period runs April 1-30.
ICANN, the nonprofit organization that oversees technical matters related to the Internet, made the call for new top-level domain proposals as part of an effort to expand the number of communities addressed by the Internet's Domain Name System, it said.
The call for sponsored top-level domains is a first step toward defining a streamlined process for implementing generic top-level domains such as .net and .com, according to ICANN.
The group has said previously that sponsored top-level domains are easier to implement than generic ones, which operate under policies established by the global Internet community under the ICANN process. With the specialized, sponsored top-level domains, the sponsor carries out some of the policy-formation responsibilities, ICANN said.
The other proposed sponsored top-level domains announced Friday are .post, from the Universal Postal Union; .tel, proposed by both New York's Pulver.com Inc. and London's Telname Ltd. and therefore counting as two sponsored domains; .travel, from New York's Travel Partnership Corp., .xxx, from Canada's International Foundation for Online Responsibility; and .cat from Fundacio puntCAT.
After evaluation by the independent panel, qualifying sponsored top-level domain applicants will be eligible to enter technical and commercial negotiations with ICANN, which is based in Marina Del Rey, Calif. The group didn't say how many new sponsored top-level domains it plans to adopt. Existing sponsored top-level domains include .aero for the aerospace industry and .museum.
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