December 6, 2013
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway residents, groups and businesses will be eligible to register .EU domain names from January 8 next year.
Like .AU domains, .EU names have been geographically restricted in terms of registrant eligibility. Currently, only resident of the European Union can register a .EU domain name.
However, provisions were made over a decade ago to allow for EEA (European Economic Area) countries to also be able to access .EU registrations at some point.
"We welcome this positive development which has been in the air for some time," said the .EU registry's General Manager Marc Van Wesemael. "The more countries and businesses that benefit from .eu's unique identity, the stronger its brand becomes."
The EU Top-Level Domain has been operating for over 7 years and there are more than 3.7 million active .EU registrations.
Residents of Germany are by far the biggest .EU registrant group, followed by the Netherlands, France and the UK.
In a report published last month covering to April 2013, the authors
state that .EU is the eleventh largest TLD in the world and Europe's fourth most popular
ccTLD. Renewal rate of .eu domains sits at an average of 80%, against an industry average of 73%.
"Given the historical trend and the current market situation, EURid's goal is to maintain a steady growth rate in registrations of around 5-8 % per year," states the European Commission report. "The Registry has a yearly Marketing and Communications Plan in place to help it achieve these objectives."
EURid, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is the not-for-profit organisation that oversees the .EU top-level domain, following a tender process and appointment by the European Commission. On 7 April 2006, EURid opened the .eu TLD for general registration on a first-come, first-served basis.
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