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New .eco domains set for green battleground

Internet user
Surfers could end up frustrated if the .eco battle plays out slowly

Sometime next year we'll be adding the new .eco suffix to the long list of top-level internet domains we all need to be aware of, but ownership of the admin rights looks like turning into a green battle royal.

Applications to ICANN for control of the .eco TLD are expected in early 2010 from two separate bodies - one Canadian, the other from the US.

Proof of intent

The former, Big Room, says it wants to grant .eco URLs only to organisations and business that can prove they are environmentally friendly, while the latter, Dot Eco, has a different approach.

The US group, which includes Al Gore among its supporters, wants to give the proceeds of domain name sales to good causes.

Big contributions

Co-founder Minor Childers told the BBC: "We could be one of the biggest contributors to environmental causes anywhere in the world."

Whichever group wins out, it seems clear the .eco domain will become a sought-after badge of honour before too long.