News Article

IT & Internet

Online shake up will revolutionise the face of the Internet

By CreditMan Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Internet could see its most radical shake-up in years if plans to open up the current web address system are passed. Internet regulators will vote on Thursday to decide if the strict rules on so-called top level domain names, such as .com or .uk, can be relaxed.

Top level domains are currently limited to individual countries, such as .uk (UK) or .it (Italy), as well as to commerce, .com, and to institutional organisations, such as .net, or .org.

If approved, it could allow companies to turn their brands into domain names and individuals will be able to register a domain based on their own name, or any other string of letters, as long as they can show a business plan and technical capacity.

Martin Warner, new media entrepreneur and brain’s behind Technology of Tomorrow 08 ( says that the real benefits of opening up the domain types will tackle the limitations of the existing domain groups.

“The sheer growth of the Internet requires Icann to address this in a way that will be embraced by the existing companies and individuals who are already on the internet and have top level domains, and that it will also attract new entrants to the web,” Warner said.

“Perhaps the biggest problem will be transitioning to a new domain order, making every known company change from .com or to the latest domain or a domain just representing their ‘name’.”

While companies will be able to secure domain names based on their intellectual property easily, some domain names could become subject to contention, starting a bidding war.

“The change will provide opportunities for establishing brand names, and this will be on offer to many who get in early to establish a clear identity.”

“There will be costs attached to the migration of domain names, however, with so many companies across the globe, there are huge benefits to having a universally recognised name on the Internet”, he said.

“Icann need to carefully observe the nature of displacement from a brand and competitive perspective. Creating a high value domain system that everyone can identify with will have its hurdles,” he said.

The plan would also allow for the new domain names to be made international and could be written in scripts for Asian and Arabic languages.