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Friday, August 22, 2014

Is that a "Splinternet" that I see?

By Duane Higgins, ceo

I have written a few articles regarding the relative prospect of the development of various types of  "Splinternets" appearing over time. Especially in conjunction with the (in process) release of upwards of 1000 new top level domain name extensions. defines the "Splinternet" as follows:

The splinternet (also referred to as cyberbalkanization or Internet Balkanization) is a characterization of the Internet as splintering and dividing due to various factors, such as technology, commerce, politics, nationalism, religion, and interests.

Some of my prior articles on this topic are here:

One Thousand Splinternets?

Is the Age of the (Just One) Internet Over?

Given my interest in this area, I wanted to post information from a press release  this week from the National Association of Realtors. What is most interesting is not that the .realtor domain name is being released. It is how they plan to use the domain name extensions. Essentially for members only. I am now wondering if this doesn't represent the first salvo across the bow of of the "old" Internet and into the world of "Splinternets?"

From a press release dated 08/18/2014 titled:

NAR Announces Launch of .REALTOR Top-Level Domain

WASHINGTON (August 18, 2014) –The National Association of Realtors®’ new .REALTOR top-level domain will be available October 23, 2014 to members of NAR and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

According to this press release: NAR will provide the first 500,000 members who register for a .REALTOR domain with a free one-year license, and CREA will provide 10,000 free domains to members on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The top-level domain will be made available only to real estate professionals who are Realtors®, members of NAR or CREA. The domain will also be made available to state and local Realtor® associations, association multiple listing services, affiliated institutes, societies and councils and NAR strategic business partners.

The National Association of Realtors® “The Voice for Real Estate®,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

By the way,  just for some more interesting reading. Here is a May 2014 Washington Times article regarding the real prospect of "Splinternets:"   

U.S. domain deregulation could fragment World Wide Web into "Splinternets."

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