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Friday, 4 August, 2000, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
Paying for the net name
domain name list BBC
New domain names will be debated in November
By BBC News Online internet reporter Mark Ward

By early next year the internet could have a new series of domain names.

Icann, the internet's co-ordinating body, is publishing a list of suggested new suffixes that may be the basis of the new names.

The organisation is expected to pick two or three that will join the more familiar country and .com, .org, and .net names.

To deter frivolous proposals, Icann is asking potential registrars to pay a substantial application fee to cover its costs.

Suggested suffixes
.geo - global organisations
.kid - children's sites
.radio - broadcasters
.gnu - Free Software Foundation
.sucks - annoyed customers
.law - legal groups
.isnotfair - critical customers
.humanrights - civil liberty groups
.biz - business
.casino - gambling

Almost 30 organisations have sent ideas to Icann since it asked for suggestions.

The ideas range from special domains for trade unions and human rights organisations to ones ending .sucks for aggrieved customers.

Formal applications for new domains will be accepted by Icann from 5 September to 2 October. The web at large will then have two weeks to comment on the suggestions and say which ones are worth using.

The final decisions on which suffixes will be adopted will be made at an Icann meeting in November. Although Icann is likely to receive a lot of suggestions, it has already had over 30, it is only expected to pick two or three new ones.

New names near

Successful applicants will get the job of administering the domain. The domain names used now are looked after by a variety of organisations and the central list is replicated on 13 root servers.

Network Solutions looks after .com, .net and .org, but country codes, such as .ru for Russia, are looked after by separate organisations.

Icann is also asking the web at large to send in suggestions on ways to resolve disputes over who should administer the new domains.

Already different organisations are asking to look after the same suffix.

Those submitting formal proposals are being asked to pay a $50,000 (31,000) application fee when submitting their proposals.

Some see the price as too high for charities or non-profit organisations, but anyone running a domain registry could make a lot of money out of it.

Earlier this year, domain registrar Network Solutions was sold for $21 billion (14 billion).

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See also:

16 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Go-ahead for new web names
25 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Channel Islands balk at 'domain tax'
04 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Domain name auction row
24 Nov 98 | Sci/Tech
Can Icann do it on Wednesday?
04 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Net groups in world wide wrangle
07 Mar 00 | Business
Dot.com registrar sold for $21bn
30 Jul 99 | The Company File
EU Internet address inquiry
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