By Marcus Leach

In what will be the biggest change for the online world in recent years a global internet body has voted in favour of the creation of new website domain suffixes.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) voted in favour of the plans to dramatically increase the number of domain endings from the current 22.

Applications will be taken by Icann as of next year, with major corporations and cities expected to be among the first looking for new domains.

"Icann has opened the internet's addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination," said Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive officer for Icann.

"No one can predict where this historic decision will take us."

There will be suffixes ending in any number or letter, with hundreds of new generic top-level domain names.

It will cost $185,000 (£114,000) to apply for the suffixes, and companies would need to show they have a legitimate claim to the name they are buying.

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