Dot Com Could Become Dot Anything

Since the beginning of the web, the scourge of developers and company owners alike has been the impossibility of finding the domain name you need.

Everyone prefers .com addresses, but there re only so many out there.

Add to that the annoyance of domain squatters sitting on huge portfolios of unused domain names in the desperate hope that someone might pay for the domain name of their choice and you realize the nightmare of picking the right domain name.

But there’s hope for new business owners. ICANN, the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers is planning a dramatic re-write of the rules governing what addresses can be widely used on the internet.

Currently there are two kinds of domain names. Generic TLDs (Top Level Domains) such as .com, .net, .org and .edu, and country specific codes such as .jp for Japan and .ca for Canada.

The new system will open the doors to remove the limitations entirely, allowing for domains of your choosing.

The next web address you register could end in .site or .dell or .apple.

But in case you’re firing up your browser to register the domain .johnsmith, it’s not quite that simple. You can’t simply register these domains, you must apply to ICANN and possibly bid in an auction for the right to the name.

Furthermore, it ain’t going to be cheap. At $185,000 for the application fee alone, and then $25,000 per year, not every .tom, .dick or .harry will have their own TLD.

Written by Toby Leftly

Toby is a Mac nerd, a hardware nerd and a web nerd, rolled into one. You can find him at or on Twitter.

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  • Conceptually cool, but it seems like an expensive way to get something that looks like a clunky subdomain. When you’re choosing a domain, usually you’re trying to find something short, sweet and memorable. The nice thing about having generic, well-known TLDs is if I say “Go to…” whomever I was speaking to will only have to remember the “site” part, without having to remember which company holds the custom TLD. Considering the price, it would be a limited number of companies that use it, but from a marketing standpoint, I’m definitely skeptical.

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