At its meeting in Singapore this week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a historic plan to allow unlimited numbers of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to join the ranks of .com, .org, .net, and .biz. Currently, there are only 22 such gTLDs plus the country code TLDs (ccTLDs) such as .us and .ca (Canada).
Top level domains are the string of letters that come immediately after the last period in a domain name. Originally, there were only eight gTLDs, the most common of which is .com. New gTLDs were approved by ICANN in 2000 and 2004, including .mobi, .tel and .info. However, this is the first time that private companies, institutions and organizations will be allowed to establish their own gTLDs. (ICANN will not accept applications from individuals.)