In a direct challenge to the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a new domain-name registry on Monday announced it has begun selling an additional 20 top-level domains (TLDs), including .kids, .travel and .xxx, for $US25 a year.
The new TLDs are more logical and easier to remember than the existing TLDs and go beyond the seven new TLDs that ICANN announced late last year, David Hernand, CEO of New.net Inc, said during a conference call.
"We are a market-based solution to the naming system in contrast with a political-based solution, which has moved slowly," Hernand said. "The first seven (TLDs) were released over 10 years ago . . . by great visionary minds who simply did not envisage how popular the Internet would become. We hope to move quickly into this space to provide consumers the names they want now."
In addition to .kids, .travel and .xxx, New.net is selling names ending in .shop, .mp3, .inc, .sport, .family, .chat, .video, .club, .hola, .soc, .med, .law, .game, .free, .ltd, .gmbh and .tech. New.net is using the same uniform dispute resolution policy that ICANN uses for protecting trademarks and resolving disputes over ownership of names, Hernand said.
The TLDs work within the existing DNS (domain name system) infrastructure, and New.net has partnered with the infrastructure service company UltraDNS to make access to the new TLDs efficient, Hernand said.
The names became available for purchase at http://www.new.net early Monday and are being sold on a first come, first served basis, Hernand said. New.net has reached agreement with EarthLink, Excite@Home, and NetZero, to ensure that the 16 million customers of those Internet service providers (ISPs) can reach the new TLDs. Internet users who are not customers of those ISPs have to download a plug-in to their browser to activate their access to the new TLDs.
ICANN had no comment on the announcement, said Brett LaGrande, a spokesman for the organisation.