U.S. government ending formal relationship with ICANN next year

The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is ending its formal relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) next year. ICANN is developing a new global governance model. 

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Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.com Start Buying Up New Top-Level Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced the names of the 1,930 applications for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs). Companies will be able to register their equivalent to a .com or .org address. Some of the new applications include .android, .app, .love, .ico, .homes, .ibm, .chase, .schmidt, .mov, and .meme.
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Google Buying Over 50 New Domains Including .Google, .LOL, and .Docs

Google Inc. has announced that they will be buying specific top level domains that they are applying for. These top level domains include .google, .docs, .youtube, and .lol. Google applied for over 50 top-level domain names in total. Each application is going to cost Google an $185,000 application fee, which will add up to a cost of $9.25 million or more.
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ICANN Votes to Create New Domains

ICANN’s board members voted on June 19th to expand Top-Level Domains (TLDs), allowing companies to create their own domains. Companies can now have branded domains (.brand instead of .com) or, as CircleID notes, generic terms like .SPORTS or .BANK. Companies will have a 4-month period in 2012 to apply for these new domains. ICANN expects the option to create anywhere from 300 to 1,000 new TLDs within this period, many of which are predicted to be “.brand” domains.

Will Major Brands Actually Buy Top Level Domains Like .Apple and .Coke?

ICANN, the organization that determines how to coordinate Internet names is planning to launch brand top level domains. Some of the generic top level domains that exist today include .com, .org, and .edu. Some of the top brand top level domain names may include .apple or .coke. ICANN believes this would be a way for major brands to gain more control of the Internet presence. The cost of buying these brand top level domain names are pretty high though.
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Transitioning From IPv4 To IPv6

The Internet Protocol version 4 is close to becoming obsolete. A pool of over 4 billion Internet address has been emptied yesterday morning so now we are moving to the Internet Protocol version 6. This is not a huge problem for average consumers, but businesses with a lot of servers will have to make some adjustments.
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ICANN President and CEO Paul Twomey Stepping Down At The End Of 2009

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President and CEO Paul Twomey will be stepping down at the end of 2009.  Twomey decided not to renew his contract for another three years.  He announced this at an ICANN meeting in Mexico City.  Twomey said he wanted to “move on to another leadership position in the private or international sectors.”

Twomey will remain on board until a successor is named and will be around until July 1.  ICANN is in the midst of adding many more new domain name suffixes.  ICANN is in charge of overseeing all domain name rules as selected by the U.S. government.  Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet stepped down as chairman of ICANN about a year ago.

“I can think of no other person who has had more influence on the course of ICANN’s evolution than Paul,” stated Cerf.

[via AP]