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ICANN to vote on new Internet domain names

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is getting ready to vote later this week to open up the Internet naming convention to allow more options.

On Thursday at its meeting in Paris, ICANN, the not-for-profit organization charged with overseeing the Internet's naming scheme, will vote on a proposal that would allow companies to purchase new generic top-level domains ending in almost anything they want. So instead of being limited to .com, .org or as the last letters of their Web addresses, companies or organizations could add their company name to the end of their URL. For example, eBay could become .ebay or Intel could be .intel. Even cities could name their Web sites .newyork or .berlin.

But the new names, which could be ready in 2009, won't come cheap. As a result, it's unlikely that individuals will be able to take advantage of the new naming conventions to create more personalized Web sites. The exact price to register these new names isn't yet known, but some experts predict it could cost about $50,000 to register a new domain name.

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