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ICANN asks the proverbial question: What's in a name?

ICANN logo.

JEREMY HOBSON: The global organization that coordinates Internet address names made a big announcement today at a meeting in Singapore. ICANN will allow websites to end in .Anything, not just .com or .gov.

Here's what the group's chairman Peter Dengate Thrush told Marketplace this morning:

PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Within a year or so, you'll have a totally different landscape. You'll be looking at the domain names ending in .Pizza, .Movie, .Pics, .All-sorts-of-things.

For more on this, let's bring in John Moe. He's the host of the Marketplace Tech Report. Hi John.

JOHN MOE: Hey.

HOBSON: Well, John, why this change?

MOE: Well, ICANN -- which is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -- says it wants to promote more innovation, more choice. They say 1.6 billion people are on the Internet right now. And ICANN wants to give them more diversity in what they can find.

HOBSON: More diversity. And what does it take to be a part of this new world of the Internet?

MOE: Starting in January, you'll have four months to apply if you want one of these new domain names -- one of these new suffixes. And it'll cost $185,000. And you need to be an already-established organization. So it's not like you or I could just apply on our own with you know, that spare $185,000 we have lying around.

HOBSON: OK. Good I can save my money. What is this going to mean for those of us who use the Internet?

MOE: Well, when you go online, companies will have a chance to have .Nike or .Pepsi and you know you can find different things after the "dot." I'm kind of dubious as to whether this will catch on. We've had .biz and .tv for while. And you know, it's really never gained traction. If you want to be taken seriously, you need .com. And besides, what would you put before .Pepsi. You can't really send people to Pepsi.Pepsi.

HOBSON: You can try. John Moe, host of the Marketplace Tech Report. Thanks so much for joining us.

MOE: Thanks Jeremy.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.
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