Companies and organizations from North America and Europe dominated the bids for new Internet addresses as a key oversight agency prepares for the largest expansion yet in the online addressing system.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers received 1,930 proposals for 1,410 different Internet suffixes by the May 30 deadline. Suffixes are the ".com" part of an Internet address. Nearly half of the proposals -- 911 -- were from North America and another 675 came from Europe.
ICANN plans to release details about the proposals at a news conference in London on Wednesday. It disclosed general trends ahead of the announcement. The full list of proposed suffixes was not yet available, though bidders have disclosed some of them, including ".bank," ".baby" and ".YouTube."
If approved, the new suffixes would rival ".com" and about 300 others now in use. Companies would be able to create separate websites and separate addresses for each of their products and brands, for instance, even as they keep their existing ".com" name. Businesses that joined the Internet late, and found desirable ".com" names taken, would have alternatives.
From a technical standpoint, the names let Internet-connected computers know where to send email and locate websites. But they've come to mean much more. Amazon.com Inc., for instance, has built its brand around the domain name.
The expansion will allow suffixes that represent hobbies, ethnic groups, corporate brand names and more.