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Domain suffixes turn personal@Net

Traditional suffixes for internet domain names, such as .com and .org, may soon become a thing of the past. Dipankar De Sarkar reports.

gadgets Updated: Jun 14, 2012 01:51 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar

Traditional suffixes for internet domain names, such as .com and .org, may soon become a thing of the past. A US-based non-profit company, which frames standards and rules for the internet globally, declared on Wednesday that it has received as many as 1,930 applications for new names — ranging from .apple to .zulu.


The more exotic domain name suffixes include .lol, .porn, .sex, .sucks, .book and .shop, for which each applicant has paid a hefty registration fee of $185,000 (over Rs 1 crore).

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) told journalists that the applications will now be processed — with time set aside for objections and comments — before being approved and released in batches of 500, starting 2013. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/6/14_06_12-metro11.jpg

Currently, the internet hosts only 22 domain name suffixes. They either have an international generic character — such as .com, .net and .org — or are based on the names of countries. But now, with a provision for private corporations and community-based groups to apply for domain names, the internet may just not be the same anymore.

Many Indian firms have also demanded a slice of the domain-suffix pie. According to sources, figuring among the dozen applicants from the local market are Bharti Airtel, Dabur, Reliance Industries, SBI, TVS and Tata. The most innovative Indian name was from Dotping, which applied for .ooo.

An overwhelming majority of the applications — containing a bewildering array of names — came from the United States. North America accounted for 911 applications, while Europe sought 675, Asia-Pacific 303, Latin America and the Caribbean 24, and Africa 17. Applications were submitted for 116 suffixes in non-Latin alphabets, including Hindi.

There were three applications in the Devnagri (Hindi) script, including .com and .net - both from a Switzerland-based group. If approved, each suffix would cost at least $25,000 (Rs 1.38 crore) a year to maintain, with a 10-year commitment requirement.

However, the firms will have to wait till January 2013 for the action to begin. Individuals or organisations that have objections will get seven months to file a formal objection.