Move Over, Dot-Com And Friends?

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Ten organizations are seeking to sponsor new Internet domains, including ".mobi" for mobile services and ".xxx" for adult content, the group that oversees key aspects of the global network announced Friday.

Each organization paid $45,000 to apply for suffixes that are to be set aside for specific industries and interest groups. The deadline for applications was Tuesday.

The new domains could be approved as early as this year and would be the first major additions since 2000. Public comments on the applications will be accepted from April 1 through April 30, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

In May, the applications will be further reviewed by an independent panel. If approved, ICANN will negotiate specific terms and conditions with each domain registry operator.

Unlike today's most common domains, such as ".com," Internet addresses based on the new suffixes would be available to people, organizations or businesses that comply with rules set by the sponsoring groups.

For instance, Internet addresses ending in ".mobi" would allow sites built for the small screens of mobile phones. Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Vodafone, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. made up the group that submitted the application.

The ".xxx" domain is sponsored by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility. According to the group's Web site, it would encourage the adoption of the suffix among the "responsible online adult-entertainment community."

The other applications are: ".asia," ".cat," ".jobs," ".mail," ".post," ".tel" and ".travel." The ".tel" name was sought by two groups.

In 2000, seven new top-level domains were added, including ".biz," ".info," ".name" and ".pro," which were unsponsored, and ".aero," ".coop" and ".museum," which were sponsored.