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How the International Ad Hoc Committee Worked

Internet International Ad Hoc Committee's New gTLDs

The International Ad Hoc Committee specifically noted that .com, .org and .net were the only three gTLDs existing at the time of the report's writing in February 1997. According to IAHC definitions, .com was set aside "for businesses or firms of a commercial nature," .org "for not-for-profit entities," and .net "for entities emphasizing data networking activities, especially with respect to the Internet." The report proposed a potential Generic Top Level Domain Memorandum of Understanding (gTLD-MoU), which would establish the seven new gTLDs. They included:

.firm - for businesses, or firms


.store - for businesses offering goods to purchase

.web - for entities emphasizing activities related to the World Wide Web

.arts - for entities emphasizing cultural and entertainment activities

.rec - for entities emphasizing recreation/entertainment activities

.info - for entities providing information services

.nom - for those wishing individual or personal nomenclature

The report also called for the formation of a large group of global registries, all under the supervision of a Council of Registrars (CORE), to oversee any new registries for the proposed gTLDs.

Although the IAHC gained some support, the report was mainly criticized for several reasons. The tech community saw the report's schedule for technology development and implementation, which called for a timeline of about 100 days, as too strict and condensed. Others felt it ignored business issues and failed to resolve the competitive problems it was attempting to address; the introduction of the .firm and .store domains, alongside the established .com, may have felt a little redundant. Because of a lack of unity regarding the suggestions from the IAHC, the committee dissolved soon after the release of the report, although many incarnations of its ideas were transferred to later successful proposals. The .info domain, for instance, later introduced by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), remains one of the more successful domain names.

For lots more information on the ever-changing state of the Internet, see the next page.

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More Great Links


  • Arnold, Bruce. "ICANN profile: History." Calson Analytics. January 2003. (July 28, 2008)
  • CircleID. "ICANN board approves sweeping overhaul of top-level domains." June 26, 2008. (July 25, 2008)
  • Cybertelecom Federal Internet Law & Policy. "Derived from: Management of Internet Names and Addresses. (White Paper), Department of Congress (June 5, 1998)." History of DNS. (July 28, 2008)
  • International Ad Hoc Committee. "Final Report of the International Ad Hoc Committee: Recommendations for Administration and Management of gTLDs." Feb. 4, 1997.
  • InterNIC. "The Domain Name System: a non-technical explanation -- why universal resolvability is important." Oct. 5, 2002. (Aug. 4, 2008)
  • Weiss, Todd. "New .info domain name proves popular." Computer World. Nov. 18, 2002. (Aug. 5, 2008),10801,76008,00.html