Google plans to bring out new internet domains, including .lol

1 Jun 2012

One of the internet's founding fathers, Vint Cerf, in Dublin in April

Vint Cerf, one of the internet’s founding fathers, has revealed that Google is planning to bring out new top-level domains (TLDs), including .google, .docs, .youtube and, interestingly, .lol.

In a Google blog post, computer scientist Vint Cerf, who is now vice-president and chief internet evangelist at Google, revealed the web search giant’s plans to shake up the internet domain space.

Cerf, the co-inventor of TCP/IP technology – the platform upon which the internet runs – spoke about how half of the world’s population is destined to be online by 2016, but almost 50pc of the websites people visit are in the .com TLD, which was one of the first TLDs created in 1984.

“Despite the great opportunities the web has enabled for people around the world, there is still a lingering question about the diversity of the domain space,” wrote Cerf. He pointed out that the number of generic TLDs has increased by just 14 in the past 28 years.

According to ICANN, its TLD application system received just more than 1,900 applications by the closing date on 30 May. Each application costs US$185,000.

So what’s Google planning then?

Pointing to ICANN’s 2008 programme to expand the amount of generic TLDs – such as .org and .edu – Cerf said Google has submitted applications for new TLDs.

These include its trademarks, such as .google, domains that pertain to Google’s core business, think .docs and domains that relate to user experience, ie .youtube.

And what about a .lol domain? Well. Google appears to think that such a TLD would have creative scope.

“We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment,” wrote Cerf.

ICANN issued a statement yesterday in which it said it will have a meeting in Prague to discuss, among other issues, universal acceptance of all top-level domains.

“Our goal is to raise awareness among all internet users about the diversity of domains on the internet,” said the ICANN statement.

The statement went on to say that, with the onslaught of new TLDs, ICANN will be raising awareness among internet software developers so the software they build is compatible with all domains.

It said it would be publishing the list of applied-for domain names on 13 June.

According to reports, Google made more than 50 TLD applications to ICANN.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic