Now .smith, .sports or .love on the web

Internet regulators on Thursday voted to relax rules on domain name like .com .edu which could pave the way for companies or individuals to create an array of new addresses for the web.

The Internet corporation for assigned names and numbers, or ICANN, also approved measures that will allow top-level domain names in script such as ARABIC or CYRILLIC.

Top=level domain names or TLDs, refer to Internet name suffixes such as the ubiquitous .com .net and .org among others. Currently there are more than 200 top-level domain names which also include the two character country codes used by websites, such as Britain’s .uk.

ICANN officials said some technical issues for the new system must be worked out, but it could be reviewing the first applications for new TLDs as early as next spring.

The application fee is expected to be $100,000. Individuals, companies or group could apply to have any string of letters established as a domain name. It could be a vanity name, for example-.smith-or a category name like .sports or .perfume. A company could also change to reflect its brand, so Apple.com could become Apple.mac, for instance. Straight forward applications will be approved quickly. A review process would be undertaken for controversial strings.

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