Thursday, October 24, 2013
Vatican spearheads internet name revolution
Organizations now have a wider choice when they register a domain for their respective websites. In a recent move by the Internet regulating body ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), Internet addressing currently dominated by .com, .org and .net has been opened up to include a wider choice of top level domain names.
What better way to bring this new revolution in internet addressing under revised ICANN rules than for a highly visible and widely followed religious organization to make the pioneering move to adopt to the change. The Pope and the Vatican spearheads this revolution as it recently bagged the high level domain name “.Catholic.”
Apart from being seen as a popular and non-traditional head of more than 1.4 billion Catholics around the world, the newly elected Pope Francis has made headlines by adopting the naming revolution for the Vatican in bringing its religious presence in cyberspace. This makes the Vatican the first organization to register the domain name under the new rules and is expected to go live soon in English, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
With the recent changes in ICANN registration policies, the Vatican lost no time to register the domain name rather than allow any secular organization or individual to use it for less than pious purposes. It was the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications that successfully completed the domain name application processing in 2012. ICANN has recently confirmed authorizing the Vatican to have complete and exclusive control over the new domain address extension .Catholic.
Contrary to recent media reports that the .Catholic name would go live in October, Msgr. Tighe, secretary of the council, said that websites using the .Catholic extension will still take some time to activate as there are some “bureaucratic kinks to iron out”, technical tests to run, contracts to sign, and clear guidelines to disseminate for potential users of the domain name.
In addition, Msgr. Tighe clarified that Catholic individuals and bloggers will not be allowed to use ".Catholic." The domain name extension will be confined to organizations with formal canonical recognition such as parishes, dioceses, religious orders, and Catholic institutions like schools, universities, and hospitals.
More Liberal and Personalized Internet Addressing
The Internet is now open to thousands of top level domains that further personalize your website when you register a domain. Current top level domain extensions like .com, .net, and .co.uk have become quite saturated. ICANN senior advisor Sally Costerton said that, “There are 111 million dot com names.” This creates difficulty in finding sites you want to visit.
The new addressing scheme is expected to create a higher level of personalization that makes finding the site you want to visit easier. You can have .America, .London, .eco, .college, .PS3 .Apple and .YourName, just to mention a few. Apart from .Catholic, religious organizations can now register a domain name with extensions like .Faith, .Bible, .Koran, .Hindu, and .Christmas, among others.
By the end of 2013, ICANN expects more than 1,400 new domain names to roll out as part of its expansion plans to bring around 100,000 new domain names over the next five years. This change is the result of ICANN’s eight years of study and is considered the most significant development since the World Wide Web became popular. To date, some 40 UK organizations have taken initiatives to register a domain for their respective websites under the new rules and they are expected to go live towards the end of 2013. Online users will soon find addresses ending with .boots, .bbc, .itv, .barclays, .jaguar, .hsbc, .williamhill, and .orientexpress, to mention some. Local government authorities are also bagging extensions like .wales, .london, and .scot which are no longer available.
Applying for brand domain names cost £115,625 and they will be closed and exclusive once purchased. However, broader domain extensions such as .eco, .school, .music, .sport, or .fashion will be open to everyone. In addition, enforcing the new rules come with stringent accepted checks to regulate the application so that groups that may want to register a domain name with extensions like .alqaeda are not allowed along with other socially or politically offensive or derogatory extension names.