Want to help decide which names should get a chance to become a new Internet address? The group that runs the Internet's address system has an opportunity for you.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers says it's looking for volunteers to help evaluate which groups should get a big discount on the $185,000 fee to apply to run a new top-level domain name. Deserving applicants could pay a quarter of that cost - $47,000 - if they can show they need the financial help, that their proposed new domain name provides "a public interest benefit," and that they have the financial and technical means to run a new domain name. The support program appears to be aimed in particular at applicants from developing countries.
"These volunteers will be key to ICANN's effort to assure that the less-developed parts of the world are able to participate in the new domain name program," ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz said in a statement. "The panel members will make a real impact in ensuring that the opportunities for innovation and economic development created by the Internet are open to everyone."
ICANN's Support Application Review Panel, however, isn't open to just anyone. The group will be looking for volunteers who have experience running a small business, operating in developing countries, analyzing business plans, and have a knowledge of the domain name system. Potential volunteers will have until March 31 to submit an application to serve on the panel.
ICANN began accepting applications last month for its new domain name program, which calls for the introduction of an unlimited number of domain names. The application period for the program's first round ends in April.