Less than a month after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) met to discuss the growing threat of so-called 'alternative root' domains, US organisation New.net has rolled out its own service in the UK.
Although not technically an alternative root, New.net's focus is to introduce more top level domains (TLDs) to the internet - and fast.
In the past, Icann has come under heavy criticism for being slow to tackle the problems caused by the rapidly dwindling numbers of TLDs - around 98 per cent of words in the English language are already taken in the .com registry.
As a result, alternative roots have sprung up which allow for the registration of other TLDs besides .com, .net and .org.
"Icann's techniques and attitude have been a source of frustration to the internet community," said Andy Duff, New.net's director of policy. "We provide a fork in the road, a supplementary infrastructure to .com, whilst offering a further 30 domains to consumers."
By partnering with UK wholesale internet service provider (ISP) Energis, New.net reckons it has gained another six million users to add to the 44 million already using alternative domains.
ISPs simply modify their own name servers to accommodate New.net's domains and users don't need to do anything unless their ISP does not support New.net domains.
If this is the case, a small program can be downloaded from New.net which allows for the redirection.
A total of 30 different TLDs are currently available through New.net at a uniform price of $25. The domains include many that Icann turned down when it ratified the seven new domains late last year, including .xxx, .kids, .mp3 and .shop.
But Icann has attacked alternative roots as damaging to the "solid technical grounds for a single authoritative root".
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