It is supposed to be the largest expansion of the internet since ".com" was introduced. Last week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN) shared an extensive list of organizations that submitted proposed new domain names. At a cost of $185,000 per proposal, ICANN is expected to collect well over $357 million from this new expansion.
Competition between organizations will likely heat up as we can expect to see companies continue to expand into new online frontiers. ICANN received 1,930 applications from around the world, including domain names in Arabic, Chinese, and Cryllic. Some of the world’s wealthiest and most established companies have submitted applications, including Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Google submitted over 100 applications alone for domain names including .book, .docs, .phd, and .blog. Vint Cerf, Google’s chief internet evangelist, explained Google’s applications focus on trademarks and current business lines.
The plans for expansion will undoubtedly bring in significant revenue for ICANN. The body’s president and CEO considers the expansion an opportunity to unleash innovation among corporations and help take the internet to a new level of accessibility and opportunity. Many companies – particularly the ones in strong financial condition that have the money to spend – agree with the opportunities this could present. However, the expansion brings with it one major issue: companies and organizations essentially need to spend their money just to protect their own brands and trademarks.
For the average Joe and Jill, this expansion does not look like it will improve navigation, surfing, innovation or the internet experience. It will, however, increase confusion when consumers try to do what they know the internet for best: search.
The expansion also runs the risk of increasing the amount of spam and cybercrime. There are numerous issues across the Web, including phishing and malware, which would only be further exacerbated if a limitless expansion of the Internet occurs without proper management. Before ICANN embarks on what could be a 1,000% increase in domain names, it needs to seriously evaluate the impact that expansion could have on cyber security and the overall Internet experience. At the end of this all, one thing remains sure – we will have a lot more than the current 22 domain names (.com, .org, .edu, .gov, etc.).
Is this the next big .lol or are you ready to see .coke and .cloud? (Those were actually applications)