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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 14:36 GMT
New net domains remain in short supply
new domains BBC
How some of the new domain names might look
By BBC News Online internet reporter Mark Ward

The net's new domain names may do little to open up the internet and the range of names that people can pick.

Many of the companies that will be administering the new domains are planning to restrict who can buy them by charging hefty registration fees and vetting those that apply.

The restrictions mean that pressure on the crowded .com domain will not be relieved for a couple of years.

Frustrated surfers who want to establish their own presence on the net may have to wait until even more domains are established before they get the address they want.

Lack of space

Domains and their administrators
.info - Afilias
.biz - Neulevel
.name - Global Name Registry
.pro - Registry Pro
.museum - Museum Domain Management
.aero - Sita
.co-op - National Cooperative Business Association
On 16 November, Icann, the organisation charged with keeping the internet running, announced the seven new domain names it thought should be established on the internet. At the same time, it picked the companies it thought should be given the job of administering the new domains.

The seven new generic domains are the first to be established on the internet for nearly a decade, and are needed because space is running out in the existing domains.

But as the companies that will be running the domains reveal how they will be administered, hopes that they would open up the internet look like being dashed.

Restricted use

Neulevel, the company that will be running .biz, is reportedly planning to charge $2,000 (1,300) for each domain name and a $150-(110-) a-year renewal fee. In contrast, many .com domains can be snapped up for as little as $50.

Neulevel is also planning to make the .biz names available only to established companies in a bid to stop cybersquatting.

Many of the other organisations running the new domains are thinking about imposing similar restrictions.

The .pro domain will only be available to those with professional qualifications such as lawyers, doctors and accountants. The .co-op and .museum names will be for only those types of organisations and the .aero domain is expected to be used only within the air industry. Only .name looks like it will be open to anyone.

Those wanting to establish a web presence may have to wait until the next round of new domains is established, but Icann has yet to announce when this might happen.

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See also:

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Web address battle looms
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07 Mar 00 | Business
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26 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
China tackles cybersquatters
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