September 27, 2011
London is the latest city to register its interest in applying for a 10 year ICANN licence to operate a new gTLD (top level web domain).
London joins other major population centres such as New York, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, Rome and Berlin wanting to grab their relevant city gTLDs.
London & Partners, which acts as the official promotional agency for the capital, is working with London's Mayor to analyse the benefits a .london domain name could bring to the city; including harnessing commercial revenue streams and new job creation.
"We believe that owning the dot London gTLD will not only generate increased opportunities for the promotion of the capital, but will achieve benefits for businesses and organisations across the capital," said Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners.
Digital Advisor to the Mayor, Kulveer Ranger, said the creation and control of .london would reinforce the city's position as a global centre for digital innovation.
Closer to home, a bid for the .sydney domain name is being spearheaded by the New South Wales Premier's Office and the City of Melbourne is moving ahead with plans for a .melbourne domain name extension. These extensions would not have the additional well-known and trusted .au suffix.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gTLD initiative will see the number of domain name extensions grow dramatically. ICANN will review applications between 12 January and 12 April 2012, followed by a review process taking anywhere up to 20 months.
While stirring up excitement in some, the gTLD initiative hasn't been without its critics. The powerful Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has blasted ICANN over the program, as has the UK Direct Marketing Association; with both bodies stating it would add extra financial burden to companies in terms of fending off cybersquatters while offering little financial benefit.
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