The global body charged with breaking up the log-jam in top-level Internet domain names has recommended that seven new top-level domains be added to the system. It has not, however, offered any opinion on what those new domains should be.
The International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC), formed in October under the auspices of the (American) Internet Society, has also recommended expanding the number of organizations that can register Internet names.
Although many nations use variants (in New Zealand's case, British ones) below their country domains, the internally accepted top-level domains are .com, .org, .edu, .mil, .net and .gov. The IAHC is seeking suggestions for new names primarily through its mailing lists.
"There is an electronic forum, and people can get on and make recommendations. The committee is going to attempt to synthesize them," says Martin Burack, executive director of the Internet Society in Reston, Va.
Public comment will be accepted until January 17. A final recommendation will be made February 3.
The formation of IAHC was prompted by disputes over domain names. Expanding the number of top-level domains would "enable people or organizations to have more of chance for an acceptable name," says Burack.
Domain names are now administered by Network Solutions, Inc. in Herndon, Va. IAHC members include the International Telecommunication Union, World Intellectual Property Organization, International Trademark Association, Internet Architecture Board, and the Internet Society.
The IAHC can be found on the Web at http://www.iahc.org