It took five years to do, but yesterday's announcement that there will be seven new Internet domain suffixes is welcome news.
The problem was an overcrowded playing field. There are approximately 20 million .com names, and as anyone who regularly accesses the Internet knows, any domain name that is not blatantly obvious is difficult to figure out unless a search is performed.
The names, proposed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), join current suffixes--.com, .org and .net--and include:
- .info for general information,
- .biz for businesses,
- .name for individuals,
- .pro for professionals,
- .museum for museums,
- .coop for business cooperatives and
- .aero for the aviation industry.
In 1998, ICANN was given authority by the Commerce Department as the organization responsible for online addresses. What ICANN wants to avoid, although there may be no way to prevent it, is a rush to claim various addresses once the final seven go into effect some time next year.