Once upon a time the TLDs were divided up for special purposes,
.com for business, .net for network infrastructure, .org for miscellaneous, .edu
for schools (well universities), .gov for government (well, US federal govt), .mil
for military (well, US military), and a complete assortment of country codes as assigned
by RFC. Some of these worked well, .gov, .edu, .mil, and the country codes
are and were used well.
Now, .com, .net, and .org are the
big 3 simply because the barriers to them were removed. The direction ICANN
is moving (under the guise of a "test" to see if new TLDs will "Disrupt" the Internet
(Like .tv's, .cc, .la, .cx, entrances onto the scene were somehow technically different))
is to slowly dole out new TLDs with restricted purposes to individual corporations
(To the tune of $50,000US non-refundable for the right to be considered). As
I recall, the goal of ICANN was to increase competition for domain registrations,
not to setup new individual monopolies to administer each new TLD.
There IS NO technical reason TLD additions need to be treated any different
then a simple domain registrations. There is no technical reason TLDs must
be "assigned" by ICANN after they deem them acceptable. There is no technical
reason that there could not be hundreds/thousands/millions of TLDs.
What is the rationale behind ICANN only wishing to add restricted TLDs?
As near as I can figure they like their world divided into neat little piles (and
probably wash their hands obsessively). The Internet would organize itself
into some kind of order simply so that their servers could be found if ICANN would
release their stranglehold on TLD registrations. Moreover, maybe some "evil"
company might buy a domain in .coop were it open, so what? Are we so stupid
that we would think "Huh, Intel.coop, I didn't know they were a coop."? No,
of course not. We would simply think they are odd for using such an odd domain
and figure they would have done better to use intel.cpu, intel.com, intel.biz, intel.pii,
Additionally, by allowing an unrestricted number of unrestricted
domains the current problems of "trademark protection" would go away. Lawyers
would not say, you bought apple.com better buy apple.biz, apple.surf, apple.pro,
apple.www, apple.cheese, etc because it would be stupid to think you actually keep
up, so apple would just buy apple.com and get on with life protecting their trademark
the same way they did prior to the Internet, in the courts.
STOP RESTRICTED TLDS! Don't add any more. Don't try to turn generic TLDs
into restricted TLDs. Don't assign exclusivity to registrars of new TLDs.
Let competition reign. Or DISOLVE ICANN.