ICANN shakes up the web

ICANN, the Internet's Terry McCann has decided to abandon the way domain names have been categorised and registered up to now and allow virtually any sort if website name you than think of.

During a 'special' meeting in Singapore, Icann's board agreed to increase the number of Internet generic top-level domains (gTLDs) from the current 22 to a virtually limitless number.

In a statement, ICANN president and CEO, Rod Beckstrom burbled: "ICANN has opened the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today's decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind."

ICANN has been deliberating the move for six years and reckons it's the biggest shake-up of the web since '.com' was introduced in 1984.

Once the new system comes into force, Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language. ICANN has its eye on brands and corporations of course but political causes and individuals who can afford it will be able to register whatever name they like. Currently there are some 290 country suffixes, such as .uk and 22 open names that now include the likes of .xxx.

ICANN said applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.