The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), founded in 1998, was created to ensure a stable and unified global Internet. One key responsibility is introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names, while ensuring the security and stability of the domain name system (DNS).
In 2005, ICANN initiated a process to add to the existing top level domains (.com, .org, .net, .edu, etc.). Organizations had to apply to create new TLDs. To see all 1923 of them, visit: https://gtldresult.icann.org/application-result/applicationstatus.
What’s interesting about this is you can now reserve the new top level domains. They won’t actually go into play until the end of 2013, but there are about 1,000 new top level domains. This is interesting for marketing purposes. I could buy, for example, connect4.consulting or a law firm like Arnold & Porter could buy arnoldporter.law. A local pizza place could be mytown.pizza.