back to article ICANN approves customized top-level domains

ICANN, the organization that oversees internet addresses, will soon allow anyone to apply for his very own generic top-level domain (gTLD). In other words, you'll soon have the power to put almost anything at the end of your url, eschewing existing top-level domains such as ".com" or ".edu." "This is a historic resolution," …


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  1. Will


    this is a *&$% up, a major *&$% up.

  2. pctechxp

    figures are a bit vague

    Its a bit vague isn't it?

    have several ideas for TLDs but cant afford £50 grand a pop

  3. Bryce Prewitt

    Time to replace ICANN.

    This is about as useless a make your own curry dish, eh? I'll take the vindaloo with some sake please, yeah. Some coconut in my curry paste, please, yeah?

  4. Nomedias


    I don't pretend to be more than an idle reader on the subject, but I've been of the understanding that the available number of IP addresses under IPv4 are due to be exhausted in the foreseeable future. Additional TLDs would probably hasten that don't you think? On the conspiracy side, maybe this is intentional to push people to adopt IPv6? Any opinions?

  5. joe_bruin
    Thumb Down

    cyrillic tld

    Does Russia REALLY need a non-ascii TLD, and right away? Isn't this something that can be handled in the application layer? How about setting up DNS resolvers in Russia to resolve *.PO (the Cyrillic first letters of Russia) to Seems a lot simpler to me. This will turn into a phishing minefield as ascii-like Cyrillic letters will be used. Don't get me started on the issues of filtering Chinese characters. I have no idea how to input one, or even how to look one up.

    For what it's worth, my country doesn't use letters that even look like Latin, and we do okay with our ascii TLD.

  6. William Bronze badge

    RE: Available Domains.

    Whilst bored at work a couple of us were being juvenile by testing what domains are available. Naturally domains such as and were all taken.

    Eventually we got down to scraping the barrel.

    Shockingly was taken! However, all tld variations of peadophile were available. We contemplated the finer humour of registering the domain (which was available) and setting up email address with our friends (or enemies) names.

    Can you imagine the hilarity that would ensue from sending an email to a mutual friend from Finally common sense prevailed and we realised that if we tried to register the domain we could expect a knock at the door several hours later and a trip down to the station for some akward questioning.

    Now imagine the fun you can have with these TLD's. I want to register Gordon-Brown.Twat

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You probably found that all TLD variations of peadophile were available, because the word is actually spelled paedophile, all main TLDs are taken....

  8. Mr Fury
    Gates Horns

    I want the TLD...


    I can start my own online word processor at word.exe, my own online spreadsheet at excel.exe...

  9. Anonymous Coward


    So soon there will be emails like this

    Urgent Security Notificaton!

    Click here to update our records

    Mines the one with http://not-the.register in the pocket

  10. Snert Lee

    So wrong

    Great. Let's segregate the existing TLDs by making some of them untypeable. Do you think making .cn equal some pictographic character would raise or lower the amount of extranational internet traffic in China?

    Second great idea, let's make it possible to use any string you want as a TLD as long as you can afford to drop a year's wages on it.

    Perhaps ICANN can come up with a list of strings that more than one person might conceivably want as a TLD and then auction them off.

    I predict ICANN's only future budgetary problem will be coming up with ways to spend the money fast enough.

  11. Charles Silver badge


    Not necessarily. The non-ASCII DNS lookups would more than likely simply match up to their extensive ASCII counterparts for the time being. As noted, a comprehensive plan of action concerning non-ASCII domains in general will probably take a more gradual approach--perhaps long enough to formulate a proper solution.

  12. Nate

    .ASIA registrar can I have my money back?

    No really can I?

  13. Andy


    no - I don't think so.

    I think you'll find that the ratio of names : adresses is already quite high. It'll just get a bit higher now


  14. Herby Silver badge

    Register this...

    Yeah, that's the ticket. Register "stupid" as a top level domain. Then we can put all these silly suggestions there.

    Note to self: remember to register .smart as well, just to be safe!

    p.s. What are the rules for registering? First come, first served? If so, everyone will need to hurry!

  15. Steven Swenson

    How useless.

    Six figures!?

    For the little man who wants to register himself a neat site, this is utterly useless. Way to give the multibillion dollar corporations a leg up.

    Won't we all just be so jealous when we get to click links like or, knowing we can never have one for ourselves?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Finally has a chance.

    Of course, now there's nothing forcing porno sites to go there, and they might as well just do .sex

  17. Anonymous Coward


    This seems rather like a solution looking for a problem. Is the demand for gTLD space really that great? I can see lots and lots of problems coming from this too. I have a horrible feeling this will be a boon for criminals...

    @Nomedias - although usually a DNS lookup will [usually] be looking for an IPV4 address, the number of domains of any stripe has no bearing upon how rapidly the IPV4 address range will be exhausted. A domain does necessarily require an IP address or vice versa. The DNS root servers were altered to allow lookups in the IPV6 address space some time ago now, so the changeover is in-hand.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Your entire premise revolves around a spelling mistake? Nice work.

  19. Dave Jones Silver badge
    IT Angle

    More cybersquatting

    Unrestricted top-level domains will force big companies to rush for their own domains, having already been forced to grab .com, .biz, .net and .god knows what else versions of their domains so that no-one can impersonate them. You can see .ibm, .gm, .chrysler, .bt, .consignia, .ici, .nokia and all coming on fast. If they don't....they might wind up having to go cap in hand to somebody in China to redeem their names.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    current TLD value @Nate

    Exactly, doesn't this drop the value of all current TLDs to about 1% above nothing.

    On a grander scale perhaps they hope to replicate the cattle market of domain profiteering to all these custom TLDs.

    On the other hand an full UTF8 internet should be something we are aiming for where we step beyond ASCII.... failing that we could just agree (as with shipping and airtravel) that English is best cos we once had an empire so there, lets all use English (read ASCII).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why so expensive?

    "low six figures in American dollars"

    So minimum price for a domain is $100,000 / £50,000.

    Just exactly who is this supposed to benefit, other than the usual fat corporations?

  22. Werner McGoole
    Thumb Up

    At first sight this looks like a nightmare

    However, don't think of it as adding lots of new TLDs.

    Instead, think of it as knocking the last field (the current TLD) off the end of the address (i.e. dropping the .com or .uk or whatever). Then it doesn't seem so bad. The last field carries little information and many sites register as many of them as possible (,,,, etc.) so why not just drop the last field?

    In effect, that's where we're all heading. Not such a bad idea IMHO.

  23. E

    Price is out of line

    Obviously an attempt o build a namespace landgrab bubble. I assume the revenues will accrue to the same org that creates the bubble - ICANN?

    There is no good reason for the price to be so high.

    Perhaps there is a Bush or Cheney involved in this behind the scenes?

  24. fronty
    Thumb Down

    Brand protection

    This is going to be a nightmare for corporates who want to protect their brand name. For instance, Cisco have registered in just about every TLD going, but if new TLD's are popping up all over the place they will have to be extremely vigilant so that some miscreant doesn't appropriate their brand name for their own nefarious uses.

    Multiply this by the number of large corporates who will want to protect their brand name and you have a huge money making opportunity here.

    Do we really need this? I dunno, I reckon the amount of phishing going on will increase dramatically, especially when you combine IDN's with it all too. It's going to get in a right old mess.

  25. Phil Bennett

    I want .conn

    I'd like to register .conn - I'd sell it to phishing sites,since its best to have them all under one TLD.

    Wait, it looks like .com? Shoot. How did that happen?

  26. Neoc


    Domain Names and IP Addresses do not have a 1:1 relationship. Domain Names are aliases for IP addresses. I personally (as a private individual) "own" 4 "*.com" Domain Names (which currently represents 8 actual Domain Names, ie sites), all of which point to the same server/IP address.

    So, for example, I "purchased",, and From these, I generated,, and for a total of 8 Domain names pointing to websites, all of which are DNSed to, my web server. (don't try that address, it's invalid outside of your local network)

    "own" and "purchased" are in quotes because no-one actually owns any Domain names, they (simplification ahead) just rent them from ICANN via Registrars. Of course, with the "automatic renewal" option available from most Registrars these days, you essentially are renting them forever. Just remember that this is not a one-off fee, but something you will have to pay each year.

    I hope the above made sense.

  27. Alan


    Domain names are officially dead, as of TODAY.

    The person who brings me the next big way to access websites will be given a beer.. :)

    Mr Icann Wank*rs

  28. P. Lee Silver badge

    high prices

    are actually a good idea because it limits the number of TLDs taken.

    Could we really cope with all domain names being a TLD? It would break the DNS hierarchy which provides the throughput required and it allows to be sensibly different from If everyone wanted ".mycompany" as a TLD the namespace would have effectively shrunk, since no-one would want the hierarchical domains. It would be the same problem as .com currently has.

    I suspect the prices also exclude spammers who would have to fork out so much for .natwest and .halifax.

    Ah yes and .corn is a much better phishing TDL than .conn. Maybe even enough commercial potential there to justify getting it...

    Just get it before the pirates do,,. oo-argh, to late me hearties!

  29. Michael Shaw

    dot nospam

    I'm suprised no one has mentioned '.nospam', imagine the goodies delivering themselves to your inbox!

  30. The Mole

    Missing the point

    People seem to be missing the point, other than for a few big companies (such as ibm, cisco etc) ICANN aren't expecting or wanting consumers to be buying their own Top level domain name, they are expecting registras to buy them and then resell them. The domain name isn't any use to you if you also don't have the domain name servers to host them in a reliable manner. The higher the price the better as it limits the number of top level domains and the impact they have on the infrastructure.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    Why would you wanna point your domains to my internal webserver?

  32. Tim J


    In a chaotic world of multiple domains I can't help but think that search will become ever more important. Google, your days are very far from numbered.

  33. CharleyBoy

    Never mind the phish

    The following won't be much of a problem





    but maybe these will



    I think take up of a these new format domains will be slow if only

    because a huge amount of filtering software -esp. for email will

    simply block based on rules for what is acceptable to that provider.

  34. Anonymous Coward


    Are you ready for http://starbucks/?

    Let's hope you don't have a computer on your home or company network called "starbucks" -or any other new top level domain :)

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    Of the people I know, about 2/3rds of them will take at least a year if not five to get used to the idea of a domain not ending in .com, .uk, .org, .net et, the ones they know.

    The logs are going to see so many requests.....

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    High prices are also there...

    ...because the TLD-purchasers will be able to sell subdomains off. So if someone wants to become the registrar for ".cars", ".autos" and ".motors", they'll need a business plan for how they're going to service the demand from car showrooms for "joes.motors" "" and the like. As well as the fee to ICANN.

    It smells a bit like a pyramid scheme to me.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Not just registration...

    Don't forget folks, this is not just about *registering* the gTLD domain name you'd like to use (at a minimum estimated cost of £50k), but also the whole contractual requirements that such registration brings about *running* the gTLD, including all the hardware, requirements such as 100% DNS uptime, 99.99 SRS to the wider community availability etc.

    So if you do decide to fork out the £50k+ fee for registering I hope you have some extra cash for all your capital costs in setting up and running everything. That's also a contractual requirement and necessary in order for your application for a gTLD to succeed in the first place.

    Currently ICANN are saying that the baseline technical requirements would be similar to those used for .net so if you're still interested look here for what you'll have to provide

  38. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    New TLDs are fodder for Bayesian spam filters

    I agree with Nate and jeremy's observation that this effectively pulls the rug from under the business model of all the "new" TLDs. Apologies for the repetition, but I think this is the big news here. The likes of .EU, .ASIA, .BIZ are dead.

    In fact, they are so dead that their value is now probably *less* than zero. In a world where any Tom, Dick or Harry is allowed to manage the DNS for their own TLD, the masses will learn that most TLDs can't be trusted. They will therefore place their trust in the the few that they can remember. That means the Big Four and those ccTLDs that correspond to countries with accessible legal systems.

    Indeed, if ".us" would just get its act together and act as a proper ccTLD, we could close the Big Four to new entrants (and work long term towards abolition) and build an internet whose geography matched the legal landscape that it *ought* to operate in.

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

  40. Richard Kay

    @Richard Gray

    "This seems rather like a solution looking for a problem."

    The problem from ICANNs perspective is that if all they manage is a name to address lookup list of a measly couple of hundred TLDs so those using this list can find the DNS servers authoritative for said TLDs, their function could be replaced overnight by an association of TLD DNS operators. Multiply this to a highly complex set of contractual relationships to tens of thousands of customers with tens of thousands of TLDs and you have a house of cards which only ICANN can easily manage.

    What ICANN want to do here is to create a large enough lobby of TLD private tenants to prevent the development of Internet governance based on a framework of international law and to keep their operation within their own private domain. The question to ask is do we want the Internet governed by a private company or through the framework of international law. A more legitimate way to exercise ICANNs powers would be to bring these under the ITU: .

    All very well for ICANN to talk about deregulation as with the Thatcherite telecoms liberalisation, but in this case there is no OFFCOM and only one company selling TLDs.

  41. Maverick

    I've been thinking of this all morning

    I'm going to buy, wait for it....


    Ha ha ha.

  42. Tanuki

    Prepare for fun.

    Oh, what confusion this will cause. I really want to register .htm and .html and .http as new TLDs just to see what happens...!

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Re: http://starbucks/

    A pedant writes: I think it might have to be http://starbucks./ (with a dot?)

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Why would you wanna point your domains to my internal webserver?"

    That was probably just an example IP. The actual one is probably public

  45. Gary F

    ICANN have lost the plot and their purpose

    If ICANN want to charge up to $100,000 for each new domain suffix then what exactly will they be doing with their windfall if they're a not-for-profit organisation? Give the hundreds of millions away to charity? That would be nice but I very much doubt it.

    This is a proposal motivated by greed. They've seen how Internet companies have made millions and now they want to cash in on it. It will cause chaos and uncertainty not ot mention 1000's of new disputes and legal battles. It will confuse the public too. ICANN's job was to prevent chaos and to maintain a structure of domain names. A free for all is not the way forward. Very, very sad.

  46. Dr. Mouse Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear...

    This is going to be trouble.

    As mentioned above, what happens when someone registers a tld which corresponds with the name of a comp on your network?

    For example, I name my computers after cartoon mice in general. My main server is mickey. So, when Disney decide to register a TLD of .mickey, and they use just this for info about mickey mouse, I am screwed.

    Why oh why are they doing this? There are already too many TLDs. Oh yeah, 6 figures is the reason. Someone should grab ICANN by the short and curly's before it's too late.

  47. Tom Chiverton


    Why on earth is it a good thing to allow the creation of 'www.barclaysbank' ?!? Phishers dream...

  48. Ian

    Money makes the net go round, the net go round...

    ICANN: "Hmm, how can we make more money? I know, let's sell any collection of characters as a TLD. Yeah, that's a good idea..."

    Thumb Up

    I like the idea...

    I only wish that I could afford the infrastructure to put a business plan in for one or two TLDs that I am considering.

    Not sure about the cryllic & chinese characters though. I have enough trouble with my keyboard wanting to switch between American, French & UK layout without having to cope with more & for urls too!

  50. Peyton


    "in the low six figures in *American* dollars"

    Just wait a little bit - by Christmas that'll translate to just a few quid for you guys across the pond!


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