And, according to WBUR's Curt Nickisch, many Massachusetts entities are among the nearly 2,000 applicants for these so-called "generic top-level domains."
Most notably, the Boston Globe has applied for the domain suffix .boston, with the goal of selling domain names, such as cars.boston. Universal Hub excerpts the Globe's application:
The .BOSTON TLD aims to become a new on line identity for the city of Boston, its inhabitants, companies, organizations and institutions, managed and supervised by The Boston Globe.
"The Globe contacted city of Boston officials for approval in seeking the domain .boston," the paper reports. "In return, it will give the city website addresses on that domain that are named for city functions, such as police.boston."
Universal Hub adds that "the Globe says it will offer reduced rates to non-profit groups who register .boston names."
And as WBUR's Curt reports for our Newscast unit:
The Globe’s not the only local entity applying for a top-level domain. Fidelity wants .ira and .mutualfunds and .retirement. The Boston Consulting Group wants .bcg. MIT wants .mit. And TJX in Framingham has plunked down more than $1 million for seven, including .tjmaxx, .homegoods and .winners.
The cost to apply for a top-level domain is $185,000.
The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will review each application, and the public can comment on the proposals. It'll take at least a year for ICANN to start approving the new suffixes.
Update at 4 p.m.: The Nieman Journalism Lab spoke with Jeff Moriarty, vice president for digital products at the Globe, who said:
We’re really trying to think about ways we can make this .boston domain something that is good for the community, good for business, and really organize the local web in a new way.
The Lab adds that "the Globe appears to be the only American newspaper to seek a [top-level domain.]"
This program aired on June 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.