German Registry To Introduce “ß” Domain Names

DENIC logoRegistrants will be able to register .DE domain names that include the “ß” character, DENIC have announced.

A sunrise period will commence on 26 October 2010 at 15:00 CEST that will allow holders of domains containing the character set “ss” will be granted special registration rights that expire on 16 November 2010, 10:00 CET.

The change comes about as a result of DENIC abolishing the rule that forbids the Latin small letter sharp “s” to be used as an independent character in .DE domain names as of 16 November. The change sees DENIC following the revised standard for Internationalised Domain Names in Applications (IDNAbis). Since 4 August 2010, the IDNAbis standard allows the Latin small letter sharp “S” – also known as “Eszett” or “sharp s” (“ß”) – to be used as part of a domain name. Thus, domains such as “straß” (German for “street”) can now be registered.

DENIC advises that there may be unexpected results for internet users who use older web browsers and email clients. The unexpected results during the transition period comes about because most web browsers and email clients are still based on the old IDN standard. Thus, it depends on the software that is used, to which websites a user will be directed when entering a domain name that includes an “ß”.

While browser versions that are based on the new standard will display exactly the page the user has entered, older browser versions will always direct the user to the domain with “ss”. However, this domain may not necessarily be identical with the queried “ß”-domain, regardless whether both domains are registered by one and the same holder or not. DENIC has no means to influence vendors of such browsers as to when they will update their applications to make them compatible with the amendments of the IDN protocol. Thus, DENIC recommends parties interested in ß-domains to take this technical uncertainty into consideration with regards to the use of the domain.

For more information, see the DENIC announcement at:

Europe Registry logoTo register your .DE domain name, check out Europe Registry here.