Technology provider UnifiedRoot, based in Amsterdam, has begun leasing Internet addresses that can end in any word, rather than in .com, .org, .net or other top-level domains.
For instance, Brinks Home Security could replace its collection of different Web addresses with just one: home.brinks, according to an example the company cites on its Web site.
The entrepreneurs at UnifiedRoot and other companies now tinkering with the Internets addressing system in Amsterdam and elsewhere represent just one of several major factors working against ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the California-based entity responsible for distributing the more familiar Web addresses ending in .com, .org, .net, etc.
For its part, UnifiedRoot executives say the company will operate in “parallel” with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and will only register Web addresses that ICANN does not.
But the underlying message here is that some entrepreneurs working on new ways of maneuvering through the Internet may not be so gracious.
Indeed, when ICANN meets this week in Canada, it will be considering a proposal pushed by several major businesses in order to use Web addresses that have just a single letter, such as www.o.com.
ICANN is also contending with a growing backlash over a deal recently to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. firm VeriSign, Inc., a major Internet address distributor.
As part of the settlement, detractors say, VeriSign is allowed to charge higher fees to register a Web address.
Also, a deal between major private companies and the U.S. Department of Commerce that forms the basis for ICANN is set to expire sometime next year, adding another ICANN woe. Meanwhile, on the horizon is the first actions by a recently-formed Internet governance group thats separate from ICANN.
An ICANN representative could not immediately be reached for comment.