It is estimated that the stock of currently available web addresses under the current IPv4 protocol set to run out by 2011. Currently there are 240 .country or .territory domains, and some 20 generic ones, from .com, .net and .org to .gov, .edu or .aero.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has has recently voted to allow the creation of thousands of new domain names. Upon approval of the implementation plan, it is planned that applications for new names will be available in the second quarter of 2009.
Under the new system, the web’s 1.3 billion users would be able to buy an unlimited number of generic addresses based on common words, brands, company names, cities and proper names, according to ICANN. Companies like eBay, product groups such as .bank or .car, cities like New York for .nyc, .tata for Tata group, etc!
The new system is also being planned to support extensions in many languages of the world, which is very important for the future of the Internet in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. The present system only supports 37 Roman characters.
In theory, an infinite number of new domain names could be born. But in reality advanced technical skills and a lot of money would be needed to set up a new name, the cost could reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. Anyone who wish to take a TLD will have to prove that you’ve got the right operational skills and technical background and infrastructure to maintain stability on the internet.
ICANN states that trademarks will not be automatically reserved. But there will be an objection-based mechanism for trademark owners where their arguments for protection will be considered.
Offensive names will be subject to an objection-based process based on public morality and order. This process will be conducted by an international arbitration body utilizing criteria drawing on provisions in a number of international treaties. ICANN will not be the decision maker on these objections.