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ICANN to Consider Contact-Info Domain Name

USA Today reports that reaching out and touching someone used to be as simple as dialing a string of numbers. But now there are home, cell and work phone numbers from which to choose, and sometimes work extensions to remember.

There are also e-mail addresses � at home and at work � and instant messaging handles, perhaps separate ones for the various services, some of which now do voice and video besides text. Some people even have Web pages � through their employer or Internet service provider, or perhaps a profile or two on MySpace.

To help people manage all their contact information online, the Internet's key oversight agency is considering a ".tel" domain name. If approved, the domain could be available this year. As proposed, individuals could use a ".tel" website to provide the latest contact information and perhaps even let friends initiate a call or send a text message directly from the site. Businesses could use a ".tel" site to determine customers' locations and route them automatically to the correct call center.

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) plans to review the proposal Tuesday, although it may wait until next month or later to decide.

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