The Internet's .1 and only?

A London firm wants a new top-level domain of '.1' for wireless devices. Other domain applications include '.kids' for a child-safe area on the Web

Paul Kane wants to be the ".1".

The cofounder of Group One Registry in London envisions Web addresses composed solely of the digits 0 to 9. Without letters and URLs, every mobile phone, PDA and all promised generations of smart devices can be reached on the Web.

It won't work with current top-level domains (TLDs), such as ".com" or ".net," according to Kane. It must be a number, and why not start with ".1"?

Kane's was one of just a handful of applications to administer new TLDs filed Monday with the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

As the Internet's governing body, Icann decided earlier this year to meet the demand for new domain names by issuing new TLDs. Icann left it up to applicants to create the new TLD names and back their plans with a proven infrastructure for registering new addresses.

The proposals aren't fly-by-night. The plans, some 125 pages long, had to be accompanied by non-refundable $50,000 fees.

It's also a competitive affair. Companies waited for the last day of the two-month-long application period to throw their hats in the ring to give themselves as much time as possible to tweak their proposals.

Aside from the ".1" TLD, another applicant submitted a plan for ".kids."

The ".kids" TLD would mark every site included in the Web's first child-safe area, according to Page Howe, of .Kids Domains.

"We thought the Internet community needed to be segmented," Howe said.

Companies or individuals applying for a .kids address would have to prove they are kid-safe, Howe said. And only advertising considered kid-safe, such as for G-rated movies, would be accepted on the Web sites using the .kids TLD.

According to Howe's application, .kids sites would be scrutinised for compliance with the Child Online Privacy Protection Act and the ".kids" domain rules. Howe said private watchdog groups will also be scouring the area for abusers.

Howe said the top 2,000 names would be donated to charities for auction. Only then would the company begin charging $19 for an individual or family name. Businesses would have to pay $39, and high-risk sites, like portals, would have to pay upward of $2,500, he said.

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