Massive shakeup for net names is close

Who'll be ponying up the cash for www.po.ny?
Who'll be ponying up the cash for www.po.ny?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is set to vote on a motion that would allow generic top name domains to be opened up to a mass of alternatives.

ICANN is a not-for-profit organisation that looks after the internet's naming conventions. As most readers will know, the letters of top domain names denote the country or origin of type, and these are currently limited to letters such as .org, .com or

They are also closely controlled, with countries such as Tuvala selling their .tv assigned addresses for colossal sums to businesses such as the UK broadcaster, Five.

However, ICANN will soon be voting on whether it will open up these top level domains to allow thousands of alternatives, with companies able to use their names as top level domains (such as .ebay, or .msn), cities such as Berlin and New York to have .berlin or .ny and the likes of .bank and .tech to also become available.

"We're talking about introducing potentially thousands more names," Paul Levins, executive officer of Icann, told the International Herald Tribune.

"The addressing system hasn't fundamentally changed since its invention. These changes have the potential to have a huge impact on the way we express ourselves on the net."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.