ICANN moves closer to approving .post, .travel

Internet users may soon see two new domain name suffixes in their browser window: ".post" to identify the postal community and ".travel" for travel industry associations and organizations.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that oversees technical matters related to the Net, said this week that it has moved forward in its negotiations to approve the two new sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs).

ICANN said it has entered into commercial and technical negotiations with the two candidate registries, while the status of eight other applicants, including ".jobs," ".asia," and ".mobi," is still pending. The advancement of ".post" and ".travel" in the applications process follows positive results from an independent evaluation process, it said.

The Internet overseer made the call for new sTLD proposals late last year as part of an effort to expand the number of communities addressed by the Net's domain name system. When fully approved, the new sTLDs will join the likes of existing sponsored domains such as ".aero" for the aerospace industry and ".museum."

The ".travel" domain is being sponsored by New York-based The Travel Partnership, an industry group created to champion acceptance of the new sTLD. The group hopes that by creating a unique domain for the travel industry, it will be able to increase the profile of the global travel community as well as increase its adoption of Internet technology and links with customers, according to its proposal.

The .post domain, meanwhile, is being sponsored by the Universal Postal Union, an international organization based in Berne, Switzerland. It wants to offer its sTLD as for national postal agencies, such as "usa.post", as well as for regional and commercial postal operators and organizations, and for regulated services, it said in its application.

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