New plan to open up internet domain names
The net could see its biggest transformation in decades if plans to open up the address system are passed.
The net's regulators will vote on Thursday to decide if the strict rules on so-called top level domain names, such as .com or .uk, can be relaxed.
If approved, it could allow companies to turn their brands into domain names while individuals could also carve out their own corner of the net.
The move could also see the launch of .xxx, after years of wrangling.
Top level domains are currently limited to individual countries, such as .uk (UK) or .it (Italy), as well as to commerce, .com, and to institutional organisations, such as .net, or .org.
To get around the restrictions, some companies have used the current system to their own ends.
For example, the Polynesia island nation Tuvalu, has leased the use of the .tv address to many television firms.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which acts a sort of regulator for the net, as well as overseeing the domain name system, has been working towards opening up net addresses for the last three years.