Three months after unveiling 20 top-level domains outside the official Internet naming system, start-up New.net Inc. Tuesday released another 10 top-level domains designed to add more naming choices for individual and corporate Web sites.
In its announcement, Pasadena, Calif.-based New.net said it's launching the new top-level domains because of market demand. The company also announced that it has signed a deal with an Internet service provider in England to offer service with its top-level domains and that it has opened operations in Europe.
The new top-level domains are .arts, .school, .church, .love, .golf, .auction, .agent, .llp, .llc and .scifi.
The company has criticized the official Internet Domain Name System, operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, as too slow in creating additional domains.
David Hernand, CEO of New.net, said his company wants to provide a unique domain name to every company or individual that wants one. It costs US$25 to register a Web site name with New.net under one of the new top-level domains.
"We think that there's room for a lot of names, much like categories in a telephone book," Hernand said. "Our release of 10 new names is merely an extension of the first 20."
A spokesman for ICANN couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday, but the group has been critical of the efforts of New.net and others who create top-level domains outside the ICANN system. ICANN doesn't have any actual enforcement powers over the Internet naming system. It is a nonprofit group that's recognized by the U.S. and other governments to coordinate and manage the system. ICANN oversees the .com, .net and .org top-level domains, as well as several other specialized top-level domains, including .edu (for education-related sites), .mil (for military use) and .gov (for government use).
Hernand said his company is attempting to work within the ICANN system to apply for the creation of ICANN-approved top-level domains, but he added that ICANN doesn't move quickly enough.
"When the ICANN process reopens for new names, we will go in and apply for our names," he said. "We hope that ICANN won't be punitive. There is the possibility of that."
Another top-level domain holder outside the official ICANN system, Leah Gallegos, said New.net's approach has been problematic because the company often offers top-level domains that are already in use by other alternative top-level domain operators. Gallegos, president of AtlanticRoot Network Inc. in Virginia Beach, Va., said such duplication of domains could ultimately lead to Web users being unable to find the sites they're seeking because of duplicate top-level domains.
"New.net does not give a rip about any of the other [top-level domain holders]," Gallegos said. "They play the game that those with the most bucks win."
Last March, New.net announced the issuance of its first 20 domain names, which included .shop, .mp3, .inc, .kids, .sports, .family, .chat, .video and .club. Also created were .hola, .soc, .med, .law, .travel, .game, .free, .ltd, .gmbh, .tech and .xxx.
Last month, Gallegos and other alternative top-level domain holders created the Top Level Domain Association Inc. to try to organize alternative top-level domain holders and make sure that all of their sites will be recognized on the Internet. The group is still creating its bylaws and hasn't begun actively recruiting members.
Because they aren't official top-level domains, the top-level domains set up by New.net require Internet users to install a small software application that will allow a user's computer to find the domains on the Internet. New.net also has agreements with several large national Internet service providers that automatically are set up to recognize the company's top-level domains.
About 44 million Internet users have access to the New.net top-level domain sites, according to the company, and that number is growing by about a million a week. The company expects about 100 million viewers by the end of the year.