ICANN president and chief executive officer Rod Beckstrom (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. (ICANN) approved a resolution Monday to increase the number of domains on the Internet and open up addresses beyond country identifiers and suffixes such as .com, .org and .museum.

The ruling, announced at a conference in Singapore, could encourage brand-centric domain names such as .canon, industry-specific domain names such as .bank and domain names in languages other than English.

According to the Associated Press, a new domain name suffix will carry a $185,000 application fee and cost $25,000 a year to maintain. That means that individuals and smaller companies are unlikely to put out the money for vanity domain names.

Critics of the move have argued that larger companies will be forced to spend a lot of money to keep fake domain names out of the hands of counterfeiters. Microsoft, for example, might have to pay for Microsoft.software or Microsoft.computer in addition to its current domains, the AP report explained.

The announcement is expected to set off an Internet land rush, as The Washington Post’s Ian Shapira reported in February shortly before ICANN approved the .xxx domain for pornography Web sites. Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from Jan. 12, 2012 to April 12, 2012, and the new domains will go live some time next year.

Take your bets now on which will be the first new domain name to hit the ’net — and take the opportunity to look back at Internet database WhoIs’ list of the oldest .com’s around.

YOUR TAKE: What domain name would you buy?

Tweet Now that ICANN has approved new domain names, what domain would you buy? Tell us, use #RIPdotcom on Twitter.

dotBubble for inflated firms! “@washingtonpost: ICANN approved new domain names, what domain would you buy? http://t.co/Y63yA4n#RIPdotcomless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyMichael Goldman

New domain suffixes? .NYC for a New York city business, .WDC for Washington, DC, etc. #RIPdotcomless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplySean M. Flaim

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Internet braces for new addresses beyond ‘.com,’ including ‘.bank,’ ‘.eco’ and ‘.Canon.’

Rush is on for custom domain name suffixes

Coming soon to a computer near you: Dot-XXX