Anticipating a rush of applicants when a new Internet domain becomes available in two weeks, a London-based registry operator today is calling for trademark owners to apply now.
Officials at Telnic Limited say that anyone will be able to buy a .tel domain starting at 10 a.m. Eastern on Feb. 3. The .tel domain is designed as a secure and easy-to-manage address that users can access from any Web-ready device with so-called “click to communicate” functionality.
As Telnic's Justin Hayward told TMCnet in an interview, the domain’s so-called “Sunrise” period – the time when trademark owners can apply for domains to protect their trademarks – is more stringent than other launches.
“Many registrars that we are talking to who do sell direct say that they’re seeing much higher levels of interest and pre-orders than recent TLD launches,” Hawyard, the company's Communications Director, told TMCnet.
The selling of domains on Feb. 3 – the so-called “Landrush” – is being done a little differently than usual. Telnic is allowing anyone to purchase an available domain name on a first-come, first-served basis.
Telnic was given the right to act as registry operator by ICANN, short for the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.” Officials said today that there are already more than 120 ICANN-accredited registrars signed up with Telnic, and that “levels of pre-orders (applications for .tel domain names take by registrars to submit the instant Landrush commences) are being called ‘unprecedented’ by some in the registrar community.”
To be sure, feedback from the IT and telecom world has been positive.
Michal Lev-Ram of CNN/Fortune calls the domain “The Google (News - Alert) of online phone books,” and Danielle Belopotosky of the New York Times said, “The new domain, which stores and encrypts contact information directly into the Domain Name System, has the potential to become a phone book for the Internet.”
As Belopotosky notes, .tel is poised to distinguish itself by offering individuals and businesses a chance to store all of their contact information, keywords and location records directly in the domain name system without the need for a Web site.
Jennifer L. Schenker of BusinessWeek calls the approach “revolutionary.”
One IT insider, Paul Taylor of the Financial Times (News - Alert), says he thinks of .tel as a “live” global white and yellow pages director that “crucially leaves control of the contact and other information in the hands of the domain owner who can set different levels of access for different visitors.”
Telnic also is doing things a little differently, as it’s not withholding premium names or running auctions. At Landrush, anyone can purchase any available domain name in a first-come, first-served manner, so that everyone stands an equal chance and will pay roughly the same price for all domains rather than seeing only the richest being able to afford the best names.
Hayward said he didn’t have a clear idea of how many individuals and businesses would buy .tel domain names.
“However, again, we do anticipate strong demand as there are no other costs of development or maintenance of a .tel domain once you have purchased it – everything you need to get it up and running is included in the price,” Hayward told TMCnet. “The ease in which you can set it up means that we see very strong demand from an as yet untapped market for domains – small businesses and the general person on the street.”
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan