ICANN gives the internet a costly face-lift

The internet will never be the same again following approval today in Singapore of a plan by ICANN (Internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers), which controls internet address naming, to expand the number of generic top level domains (gTLDs). This means we will no longer be limited to web sites that end in .co.uk, .org, .gov, .com or the 20 or so other top-level domains.

ICANN states that new gTLDs will change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence. Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organisations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause…but at a cost.

Organisations will need to pay an evaluation fee of $185,000 if they wish to register a new gTLD:

An ICANN paper on the pricing states:

 “ICANN is currently estimating that the application evaluation cost for a new TLD will be approximately $185,000 per application in the first application round. The fee approach described here will be reviewed by the community as part of the overall new gTLD process review, and further refinements of the various estimates may take place up until the final application guidebook is issued. All applicants will pay for this evaluation cost with an equal fee, approximately $185,000 per application. Applicants will have additional fee considerations.”

Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.