Following a lengthy wait, businesses and organizations are now able to apply for their own generic top level domain name (gTLDs).

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has launched a 90-day application period for gTLDs, which will run until April 12th 2012.

Companies and non-profit organizations have the opportunity to request a customized domain name suffix – subject to the payment of a $185,000 fee.

Up until now, website owners have been limited to just 22 top level domains, plus country code TLDs such as, .au and .nz.

The gTLD launch has not been without controversy – several parties have questioned the need for a broader range of domain name suffixes.

But the ICANN board recently decided to press ahead with the plan, which will increase the range of options for companies, public bodies and charities seeking to promote themselves via the web.

Should more than one organization apply for a gTLD, ICANN is set to auction off the suffix to the highest bidder.

New gTLD application period gets underway
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