During the ICANN Meeting in Paris this week, ICANN annouced that it was seriously considering whether to opening up domain names to endless variations and approve hundreds of new extensions including .berlin, .paris, .quebec .cat (for Catalonia) and one for the big apple, .nyc
“We’re talking about introducing potentially thousands more names,” said Paul Levins, executive officer of Icann “The addressing system hasn’t fundamentally changed since its invention. These changes have the potential to have a huge impact on the way we express ourselves on the Net.”
Icann’s board is poised to vote on whether to set up the broad criteria for approving new domain names with limitless possibilities. It would allow companies to turn their own brands into domains or to create broad product groups such as .car, .sports or .bank.
Ebay is already a contender to use its name, according to Levins, who added, “You can imagine the branding opportunities.”
So is everyone ready for .ebay??
It is now expected that ICANN will adopt a new system, which would set in motion a process that eventually would start to open up the Internet to hundreds of new names by the beginning of next year.
Icann estimated that only 17 percent of an available pool of 4 billion network addresses remained, and they are expected to run out in the next five years.
The application fee for a domain name has not been set, but candidates estimate that it could range from $39,000 to $390,000.
Icann is also prepared to set up an auction system if competing groups bid for the same name.
Private companies would reap their profit by selling the domain names to registrars, which would then sell them to individual customers.
Icann is also setting up standards that would allow the regulator to reject applications from people who try to grab trademarked names or to rebuff proposals on moral grounds or because of community objections.
“They’ve discussed scenarios where someone wants to have .football and how to cope with it if it means soccer or football. And they’ve also talked about what happens if someone proposes .jihad,” said Lenz-Hawliczek, from the Berlin project. “It’s a really complex issue, and we’ve been discussing it for the past three years. It’s not easy.”
With hundreds of new extensions what would the effect be on the valuation of exsiting extensions?
Our guess, .com’s maybe become even more valuable as confusion will reign when people have too many choices, they will naturally default back to .com’s.
County codes would be much less valuable as every major world city will get their own extension.
extensions like .info, .biz will suffer.
.Net’s I think are also in jeopardy of devaluation.
.Org’s I think will be have the most stable valuation after .Com’s
Geo domains might be at the most risk.
Is Brooklyn.com as valuable if there is a Brooklyn.nyc?
One thing is for certain.
For trademark holders, domainers and anyone else who want to protect their brand, its going to get very expensive to register hundreds maybe thousands of domains using different extensions.
And if companies are allowed their own extension, what a money maker it would be.
People will be lining up to get their personal and/or business name.
mike.ebay or mike.google
Got to love those.