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"The World Wide Web Goes Big and Goes Local"

Editor & Publisher
Susan Payne, 11/10/2015

In 2011, the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the expansion of the Internet’s domain name system (the New gTLD Program). What does this mean? Before the expansion, the Internet was limited to 22 generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), including .com, .net and .org, together with 300 or so country code TLDs, such as .us, .uk, and .fr. After the expansion there will be more than 1,300 gTLDs, including brands (e.g. .google or .apple), geographic terms (GeoTLDs, e.g. .nyc, .london, .berlin and .tokyo) as well as generic terms (e.g. .book.). As these new gTLDs continue to launch, the media at large will need to recognize them as working domain names. Below is a summary of how the expansion works and what it means for the business community and public-at-large.

The new gTLDs provide a wide range of website address options for registrants. Take, for example, GeoTLDs, which offer a localized and potentially more informative address as the wording on both sides of the dot imparts pertinent information: shubert.nyc, toureiffel.paris and gov.wales have all adopted GeoTLD addresses. However, they also create new opportunities for cybersquatting and consequently a greater need for defensive registrations to protect both business interests and the public.

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