The 11 organizations bidding to become the new owner of the .org domains – suffixes allocated to non-profit groups and charities – were announced yesterday by Internet watchdog Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

US-based registry VeriSign, the body currently in charge of managing .org domain names, has given up its control under a deal struck with Icann. It will, however, remain in charge of the more lucrative .com domain suffixes until around 2010.

Diluted power The agreement comes after concerns voiced by the US government that VeriSign wielded too much power over domain suffixes.

UK registrar GNR (Global Name Registry) is one of the bidders. It has teamed up with the Red Cross charity to put forward its idea of an orgcentre.

Andrew Tsai, GNR's CEO, said: "The .org community has grown into a diverse and vibrant space where more communities exist than in any other TLD (top level domain). Our vision is for .org to become the community capital, a destination point for the non-commercial community.

GNR said it would spend five per cent of registration revenues on the orgcentre, which will conduct ongoing research and fund programmes tailored for the non-profit community.