After six years of negotiations, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has agreed to dramatically expand the number of suffixes available for websites around the world. No longer will top-level domains be limited to .com and .org, or national suffixes like .uk or .tv (which brings in a lot of money to the miniscule island nation of Tuvalu), and a few more. Under the new rules, groups will be able to petition for new top-level domains not currently on the list of approved domain suffixes.
This could lead to rival banks competing for the right to use the suffix .bank (as in chase.bank or wellsfargo.bank). Other suffixes might reflect the company itself (.fox) or one of its products (.ipad, for instance). Still others could be non-profit organizations that want to reflect their mission (.green).
One problem unlikely to come up is squatters. The cost of a new top-level domain is $185,000, and it comes with a rulebook that is 360 pages long. Applicants will be able to submit their requests for 90 days, starting on Jan. 12.