Roll out of '.info' and '.biz' TLD suffixes begins

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved plans for the .biz and .info top-level domain (TLDs) name suffixes and registration for at least one of them will start later this month, the Internet overseeing body said on Tuesday.

The 19-member ICANN board last week gave the approval for ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Lynn to authorize the two TLD registries, said ICANN press contact Brett LaGrande. The new TLDs are the first since the mid-1980s and will join .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, .mil and a host of country-code suffixes.

ICANN last November decided to roll out seven new top-level domains -- .biz, .info, .name, .pro, .aero, .museum and .coop. It is still unclear when the other five domain name suffixes will hit the Web. LaGrande said.

The .biz TLD will be restricted to commercial or business purposes. NeuLevel will be the holder of the registry for .biz, according to ICANN. NeuLevel, according to its Web site, is expected to begin allowing businesses and corporations to start claiming .biz domain names later this month. Addresses that are awarded will become active in October, the company said. NeuLevel is a partnership between Neustar Inc. and Melbourne IT Ltd.

The .info domain, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted TLD open to any business or individual user to register for any purpose, ICANN said. Afilias Ltd., based in Dublin, Ireland, will be the holder of the .info registry and Internet users can expect .info domain names in use as early as August. Companies with trademarks registered prior to October 2, 2000 will be able to begin registering .info domain names in late June with registrarsAfilias will charge registrars US$5.75 for each .info domain name, according to an Afilias spokeswoman. For the end user, it is expected that a .info domain name will cost about $35, comparable to what a .com domain costs now, she said.

Pricing information on .biz domain names could not be immediately gained from NeuLevel.

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