Tomorrow is a big day for the Internet. The nets regulators will vote to decide if the strict rules on top level domain names (.com, .org, .net, .us, .uk, etc.) could be relaxed. This could be the biggest transformation in decades if the plan to open the address system are passed.
If approved, the new plan could allow companies to turn their brands into domain names while giving individuals the opportunity to also cut out their own piece of the Internet pie. That means, any two or three letter combination can become a new domain name extension (such as .abc or .xy).
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) is in charge of the process. They oversee the structure of the net, acts as a regulator and controls domain name systems. Icann has been working towards opening up online addresses for the past three years.
Paul Twomey, chief executive of Icann, said, Its a massive increase in the geography of the real estate of the Internet. It will allow groups, communities and businesses to express their identities online.
Part of the project would allow for the new domain names to be
internationalized. This means they could be written in scripts for
Asian and Arabic languages. Hundreds of new domain names could be created by the end of 2008. This will increase even more in the future.
UPDATE (June 26): The votes are in (and it was a unanimous YES). Read the article here.