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Other Top Level Domains

In an effort to alleviate the domain name shortage of the .com and .net variety, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers announced on August 16, 2000 that new global top level domains would be released over time. These new names allow for unimpeded growth of the Internet and more choices for domain name registration customers. 

What are the New Top Level Domains
There were seven new top level domains released: .biz, .coop, .museum, .aero, .info, .name, and .pro. These top level domains work just like .com, .net, and .org and are recognized by all search engines. Released in the summer of 2001 were .biz and .info, and the others were released soon thereafter.

Who Can Use these New TLDs
Some of the new domain extensions are reserved for specific services while others are open to public registration. Here is the breakdown of who is eligible for each extension:

.aero - for the air-transport industry
.biz - for businesses
.coop - for cooperatives
.info - for unrestricted use
.museum - for museums
.name - for registration by individuals
.pro - for accountants, lawyers, and physicians
.us - for citizens, businesses and government agencies

Where Can I Buy New Top Level Domain Names?
As new top level domain names are released by ICANN, and assigned a sponsoring organization, there are basically two ways that you can get a new top level domain name. There is the usual domain name registration method for names that have already been released, or else you can sign with a pre-registration service for names that are yet to be released. The rush for registration and pre-registration begins early to get these new extensions.

Domain Pre-Registration Services
Registrars offering pre-registration services basically offer to "stand in line" for you to reserve your domain for a small fee. Software developers have been working hard to create programs to make their pre-registration service beat the others to the punch. When pre-registering your domain be aware of these offers and choose your registrar accordingly. Beware of offers that promise to get you your desired domain name and offer no money-back guarantee. With the great amounts of registrars and technical issues involved in the rush for names, it will be hard for pre-registration services to make any guarantees.

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