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ICANN Revenues Grow

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had a busy year in 2010. New security was implemented to help protect the Internet and new Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) were finally approved.

ICANN sits at the heart of the Internet, helping to oversee the domain name infrastructure and helps to keep the Internet a safe, secure and reliable communications mechanism. Though ICANN is a non-profit, it still has revenues as well as expenses. ICANN's 2010 Annual Report was released this week, providing details into the financial status of the organization.

For fiscal 2010, ICANN's revenues from its core operations were reported at $65.77 million, an increase from the the $60.23 million reported for fiscal 2009. ICANN was able to grow revenues from Internet Registries to $31.91 million up from $24.54 million in 2009.

2010 revenues from country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) grew to $1.67 million, up from $1.57 million the prior year. ICANN also generated new revenues of $236,000 from its IDN ccTLD fast track request process. During 2010, a number of IDNs were approved, including Chinese language ccTLDs.

ICANN first began to support IDNs in January of 2010. IDNs enable a fully qualified ccTLD to be accessible in a non-Latin script. For example, the ccTLD for Egypt is now available in Arabic.

While ICANN has grown revenues, they also grew expenses in 2010. Total expenses were reported at $58.65 million up from $51.29 million for 2009.

Moving forward, ICANN is currently on track to finalize the process by which new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will be granted. During ICANN's recent meeting in San Francisco, the ICANN board discussed plans for gTLDs which will open up the domain name business. New top level domains will be created from the gTLD programs based on the submissions of companies that are aiming to create new gTLDs.

Though technically not a new gTLD, ICANN also recently voted to approve the .XXX top level domain, creating a new home for the adult industry on the web.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.