Recently, ICANN, the organization in charge of managing the Internet’s system of domain names, voted to add seven new top-level domain names. While the move was designed to give more organizations a place on the Web, analysts are predicting it will prove costly to businesses.

What do you think? Is this a way for businesses to get the URL they want, or does it mean a greater expense for organizations and a new round of cybersquatting?

Gartner suggests that the move may burden organizations with the expense of registering, marketing, and maintaining new domain names. The company predicts that the average Global 2000 organization, for example, will be forced to register at least 300 name variants by 2001.

The whole process is expected to cost such businesses $75,000 up front, according to Gartner. (TechRepublic is an independent subsidiary of Gartner.)

Currently, there are six domain names available—.com, .org, .net, .mil, .edu, and .gov.

ICANN’s decision adds .biz, .coop, .info, .name, .pro, .museum, and .aero. The new names aren’t expected to begin showing up until mid-2001, after the U.S. Department of Commerce approves their use.

How will this affect you?
Join the discussion and share your thoughts on these questions:

  • Does the potential expense outweigh any benefit carried by a new URL for your organization?
  • What will you do when the new top-level domain names are given final approval?
  • Will your organization register as many names as possible in an effort to keep others from owning a URL with your name?
  • Will you simply ignore the whole thing?