The non-profit Internet regulatory organization, ICANN, today approved a major expansion of top-level domains (TLD), which are Internet address extensions like .com, .net and .org. With short domain names no longer available, the expansion of extensions will open up more possibilities not only for new domain names but also for better branding. New York and Paris have already gone public with their intentions of submitting their applications to ICANN to register .nyc and .paris, respectively. Unicef and other major organizations have also expressed an interest.

ICANN will charge $185,000 per application (per TLD). Set up costs will be about $100,000 once the application is vetted and approved, and $100,000 per year to maintain. Application for branded TLDs will be a lengthy and paper-intensive process likely to take several months, possibly even a year for TLDs with more competition like .law and .sport.

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