The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the new non-profit internet management authority, yesterday outlined its initial proposal for extending the network's addressing structure beyond the common suffixes of .com, .net and .org.

ICANN hopes to start accepting domain bids as from August 1. Meantime, it is conducting public soundings as to how many new domains should be added, whether there should be trademark protection for these, and whether they should be available to anyone in the world who hankers after a new web address? Another alternative would be the setting aside of suffixes for specific types of companies, groups or individuals.

Said ICANN senior vice president and general counsel Louis Touton: "We really, right now, are at the stage of looking for one last round of giving everyone a chance to speak their mind." A final report and recommendations for consideration by the ICANN board will be addressed at its next meeting on July 16in Yokohama, Japan.

Meantime, full details of the consultation exercise can be found on ICANN’s website at

News source: Wall Street Journal