Critics to ICANN: Top-level domain sale dangerous, costly

Many groups urge ICANN to cancel or postpone plans to add new gTLDs to the Internet

Critics say variable pricing for new domains is unfair, and they worry that VeriSign would be able to get a similar pricing scheme for .com if it were approved for the new domains. Variable pricing, they say, would create inequities where VeriSign could charge $1 million a year for one domain name such as Google.com and only $6 a year for another name like joetheplumber.com.

As of Sunday, more than 90 comments had been filed, and the majority of the comments were critical of ICANN's plan.

The Internet currently supports 21 gTLDs, including .com, .net, .biz and .info as well as 250-plus country code top-level domains such as .cn for China or .de for Germany.

Of the 174 million domain names registered as of Sept. 30, more than half -- or 89.4 million -- were registered in .com and .net, according to VeriSign's December 2008 Domain Name Industry Brief.

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