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Bespoke top level domains 'to cost $200,000'

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Internet overseer ICANN plans to reform the top level domain (TLD) naming system so anyone can set up a new registry, but it seems web plebs will have to make do with boring old .com and friends. According to a report, the price for a bespoke TLD will be announced this Friday at about $200,000.

The price tag will help ICANN recoup the $20m cost of implementing a more relaxed naming scheme, AP reports. It'll also discourage all but the wealthiest individuals from applying for so-called vanity TLDs.

Major corporations and public bodies are expected to spponsor most of the new registries. A campaign for a .london TLD is being led by a German group that wants to see all major cities with their own TLD.

ICANN's reforms also mean that domains formed of non-Latin characters will be allowed for the first time. The Russian government intends to foster a "Cyrillic internet", for example.

The proposals will be opened to public consultation for 45 days. ICANN will start accepting bids in the new year, and the first new TLDs should appear late in 2009. ®

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