Internet Name Shake-Up

Reuters reports that: “…Brand owners will soon be able to operate their own parts of the Web – such as .apple, .coke or .marlboro– if the biggest shake-up yet in how Internet domains are awarded is approved…
… ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, is expected to approve the move at a special board meeting…

…The move is seen as a big opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their sites…It will also change the way search engines like Google find results, and the way organisations use search-engine optimisation to improve the visibility of their websites in search results…

…It will cost $185,000 to apply, and individuals or organisations will have to show a legitimate claim to the name they are buying…

…GTLDs such as .nyc, .london or .food could provide opportunities for many smaller businesses to grab names no longer available at the .com level – like bicycles.london or indian.food…

…The new domains will also change how ICANN works, as it will have a role in policing how gTLDs are operated, bought and sold. Until now, it has overseen names and performed some other tasks but has been little involved in the Internet’s thornier issues…

…To prevent so-called cyber-squatting, gTLD owners will be expected to maintain operational sites. ICANN will have to approve transfers to new owners at the top level…” (Georgina Prodhan, Reuters).