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Roll out of '.info' and '.biz' TLD suffixes begins

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved plans for the .biz and .info top-level domain (TLDs) name suffixes, and registration for at least one of them will start later this month.

The 19-member ICANN board last week gave the approval for ICANN president and CEO Stuart Lynn to authorise the two TLD registries, said spokesman Brett LaGrande. The new TLDs are the first since the mid-1980s and will join .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, .mil and a host of country-code suffixes.

ICANN decided to roll out seven new top-level domains last November - .biz, .info, .name, .pro, .aero, .museum and .coop. It is still unclear when the other five domain name suffixes will hit the Web, LaGrande said.

The .biz TLD will be restricted to commercial or business purposes. NeuLevel, in Virginia, will be the holder of the registry for .biz, according to ICANN.

NeuLevel is expected to begin allowing businesses and corporations to start claiming .biz domain names later this month. Addresses that are awarded will become active in October, the company said. NeuLevel is a partnership between Neustar and Melbourne IT.

The .info domain, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted TLD open to any business or individual user to register for any purpose, ICANN said. Afilias, based in Dublin, will be the holder of the .info registry and Internet users can expect .info domain names in use as early as August. Companies with trademarks registered prior to 2 October 2000 will be able to begin registering .info domain names in late June with registrars.

Afilias will charge registrars $5.75 for each .info domain name, according to a spokeswoman. For the end user, it is expected that a .info domain name will cost about $35, comparable to what a .com domain costs now, she said.

Pricing information on .biz domain names could not be immediately gained from NeuLevel.

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