Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #109 6/29/2011

Question: What are the new domain extensions?


We have been used to several basic extensions on Internet addresses of web sites up to now. Everyone knows .com (and some people think they all end in that) and we see .org, .gov, .net, .edu and country abbreviations normally. Several years ago several others were added but you do not see much and those include .us, .info, and .museum Now ICANN who administers these (they then license out to various organizations such as GoDaddy, Racknine, etc to sell the domain names) has changed the game completely.

In mid June 2011 ICANN approved a move to now let companies make their own extension so we are no longer limited to just the few. For instance Coke might decide to get the extension .coke and they could name their websites anything.coke like drink.coke Banks might want to buy their extension and then it would become very hard for someone to create an address that looks like them. So Bank of America might buy the extension boa and then you would know anytime you saw extension .boa that it was from Bank of America.

However people could still do malicious things like send a virus out that is really a .exe file and call it checkmyacct.boa.exe and if your PC is not showing extensions you so would see checkmyacct.boa and infect your machine.

You will not see many of these and will not see then soon for a couple reasons. The first is cost. The fee is expected to be $175000 so most individuals and smaller businesses it is not realistic. I will stay dwightwatt.com fro about $10 a year. However for some very large organizations this may be a worthwhile advertising expense and way to better control their name. The second is that the request must be approved by ICANN and ICANN is known for their slow deliberate ways of approving changes so it is expected this process will be slow.

I do not expect we will see anyone get one of these extensions for at least a year or two and they will be real limited. However as time goes by the price will probably reduce. I remember buying your name in the 1990s originally was over $100 a year and now is normally priced at $10 or less a year (I bought my name about 2000 when it came down to about $15 a year.

The Internet and World Wide Web continues to evolve.