In 2013, the Internet's familiar domain names, like .com and .net, will be expanded to include a host of new domain names as the net 'opens up'. The process is being run by Icann, who have, this week, announced a new CEO.
The expansion of Internet domain names has been announced by the company Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which oversees the net's addressing system. This means that major companies are no longer tied to the '.com' suffix. The change means that industry sectors can use terms like .cars and or web slang like .lol.
The announcement by Icann means that organizations are able to register their own domain names, for a fee of $185,000. To date, according to the BBC 1,900 domain name applications have been received.
The applications received include company names (such as Microsoft, who would have the name .microsoft) and for city-based domains such as .NYC and .Berlin.
Icann describe the venture as the "New generic Top-Level Domain Program" and describe the move as being initiated to "increase competition and choice by introducing new gTLDs into the Internet’s addressing system" (a gTLD is an Internet domain name extension, an acronym for "generic top-level domains"). The complete list of new domain names, which was released in June 2012, is available here.
For the move, Icann announced on June 22 that they have hired a new boss, with Fadi Chehade taking over the reigns as the $560,000 per year chief executive.
Icann is a nonprofit private organization headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The organization was formed on September 18, 1998 to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly by the U.S. government.