The international regulatory body overseeing Internet domain names (ICANN) has voted to allow almost any domain address—so long as the person or group registering it can pay an $185,000 fee!
This will leave out most small-medium sized businesses today, but it is a promising sign for the future when prices come down to a more reasonable rate.
The benefit will be the flexibility to get the URL that best supports your company’s brand recognition. Almost any word will work, including words in Arabic and Chinese. For example, a business with centralized specialty services in the city of Burbank could have mybizname.bur, allowing for localization like we’ve never seen before in a URL.
“This is the start of a whole new phase for the Internet,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of ICANN’s board of directors. “Unless there is a good reason to restrain it, innovation should be allowed to run free.”
People and groups can begin applying for new domains January 12, 2012; first approvals are expected by the end of 2012.