Changing face of internet as list of .brand sites revealed

THE INTERNET’S biggest shake up is one step closer after the list of submissions for new domain names was yesterday unveiled.

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) revealed the 1,930 website domains applied for – including .blog, .youtube and .bbc – which will hit the world wide web from early 2013 alongside the usual websites ending in .com and .co.uk.

Corporate giants including Google, Amazon and Apple have all applied for domain names, but not all brands were convinced, with Kellogg’s and Coca Cola refusing to take part.

At a cost of $185,000 (£119,000) to apply, plus a $25,000 annual renewal charge, the process has faced criticism from companies and trade bodies.

Stephen Ewart, marketing manager at Names.co.uk, said: “Our concern is that this could lead to more Facebook-style walled gardens as big brands seek to keep you in their own areas of the internet. It could be viewed as a silent privatisation of the web.”

But Peter Dengate Thrush, former ICANN chairman, told City A.M., “This is about running a piece of the internet infrastructure. Think of it like this: everyone wants to fly, but not everyone needs to run an airline.”

He added: “This is the biggest change there has ever been for the internet.”

City Hall applied for the domain name .London and claims the brand will create jobs and deliver business benefits to the capital.