Gouda/Arnhem, 22 May 2023 – Before long, anyone that wants to create their own internet domain name extension will have the opportunity to apply. Also known as ‘top-level domains’, the new extensions will operate alongside the ones we are already familiar with, such as .nl, .com and .amsterdam. Cities, regions and companies around the world will be able to establish their names as landmarks on the internet, opening the way for website addresses like https://visit.twente, https://port.rotterdam and https://fly.klm. With the aim of helping organisations in the Netherlands leverage the huge commercial potential of addresses like that, Dotlocal has teamed up with SIDN, operator of the .nl domain. The two companies will work together to bring new Dutch internet extensions online.
First application window for more than 10 years
For years now, anyone wanting a new domain name extension has had to be very patient. Before creating a new extension, it’s necessary to get permission from an international body called ICANN. And the last time cities and regions had the opportunity to do that was back in 2012. Following the last window, more than a thousand new extensions gradually came online. Some were up and running quickly, but others took longer or still haven’t gone live. For example, a protracted tug-of-war developed over the .amazon extension, between the e-commerce giant of the same name and various countries in the Amazon region of South America. Such disputes led to extensive debate about the best way to handle requests for new domain name extensions in future.
Definite plans for a new application window due before 1 August
In spring this year, ICANN announced that a proper plan for a new application window, complete with definite dates, would be published by 1 August 2023. Because the window for applications will close again after a while, any organisation interested in getting their own extension will need to start preparing well beforehand. Market research, legal due diligence and administrative groundwork all take time. In the case of a regional or city extension, the agreement of the relevant local government is needed as well and political decision-making can, of course, be a slow process.
Ample experience of applying for and running extensions
Dotlocal and SIDN are very experienced at applying for domain name extensions for cities and regions, and at running them. They are already closely associated with .amsterdam and Friesland’s .frl, for example. Where the application process is concerned, the advance regulatory work and market research are particularly important. Once the extension is up and running, it’s vital to ensure technical stability. Domains with your extension have to be reachable all the time, and changes have to take effect without delay. Dotlocal and SIDN both have strong track records in those fields.
Dotlocal is an organisation that makes it easy for municipalities and companies to get their own domain name extensions online. Dotlocal focuses mainly on front-end services, such as organisation and market development. The company has already played a big part in the successful launch of both .frl and .amsterdam. Dotlocal is part of The Sharing Group, a family of tech companies.
SIDN is responsible for the 6.3 million registered .nl domain names, and dedicated to ensuring that one of the world’s biggest internet extensions is one of the safest as well. SIDN also provides back-end services for .amsterdam, and is closely involved with developments in the field of new internet extensions. As the operator of a proven existing platform, SIDN can add mass and momentum to any application for a new extension.
Contact Siemen Roorda, product owner at Dotlocal, or Pim Pastoors, product manager at SIDN.