XO Communications' Blog

Say Goodbye to Dotcom…and Hello to the New Internet

[ 2 ] May 29, 2012 | By

There is a little noticed event going on right now that will dramatically alter the way you find information on the Internet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in process of allowing organizations of all types to apply for their own Top Level Domain (gTLD). ICANN is the organization that is responsible for technical coordination of the domain name space on the Internet. Since the beginning, the Top Level Domain has primarily been .com with .biz, .edu, etc. added later.

Now companies can own the word right of the dot. For example, www.xo.com now becomes www.xo. This will allow XO to own every word that is left of the dot xo. We can now see www.dia.xo, www.ethernet.xo or even www.ericpoints.xo. The possibilities are endless and nobody else can claim a word left of the dot xo. In other words, adios cyber squatters.

ICANN’s move to allow organizations to apply for a gTLD is going to open up a whole new world of marketing and branding on the Internet.  It will directly impact how people look-up and search for items on the Internet. Search engines are already trying to figure out how to incorporate the new gTLDs into their search algorithms and will probably return the gTLD as the top search item before anything else.

  • The new system will produce 4 types of gTLDs:
  • Brand specific names
  • Generic names such as .hotel, .buy, etc.
  • Geo specific names such as .lasvegas
  • International domains using characters other than the Latin alphabet

There will be confusion with this change. People will have to get used to just typing a brand name after the www instead of adding .com. Eventually, the simplicity of just typing brand and generic names will relegate dotcom to the dustbin of history. ICANN’s move to open up the gTLD space is a great decision for all of us.

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Category : Industry Trends

About Eric Points: I'm the Director of Product Management for XO’s data products. I've got over 20 years of Telecom experience that has included managing all types of voice and data products across different customer segments. I've been recognized for having a knack for predicting where the market is heading for my products. When I'm not thinking about building the next telecom product, I enjoy quiet time at home with the family and spending time at the beach. I've got a BA in Political Science from University of Virginia and a Masters degree from University of Miami. View author profile.

Comments (2)

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  1. There’s a few points missing in this post. For one thing, XO Communications couldn’t apply for .XO, because the new gTLDs have to have at least 3 characters. Only country code TLDs can have two characters (i.e. .US, .FR, .DE).

    Also, .EDU was one of the original TLDs, along with .COM, .NET, and .GOV.

    However, it’s a good post, pointing out the fact that online companies who want to use the new gTLDs will have to educate users about them, and how to use them. I’m glad to see forward-thinking posts like this one from a communications company.

  2. Eric Points says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the comments. The example of XO in the above blog was for illustrative purposes only. You are right that XO cannot apply for a gTLD using just XO. Unfortunately, XO and a few other famous brands are in this predicament. In fact, the growth of the gTLD might prevent companies in the future from marketing a two letter brand identifier.

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