The gTLD for Australia’s largest city Sydney launched this week and saw 1,301 registrations on day one of General Availability taking registrations to 1,434. And Thursday (19/2) will see another four Donuts gTLDs launch taking their tally to 150 gTLDs to have entered GA.The four Donuts gTLDs to enter GA this week are .diamonds, .enterprises, .tips and .voyage and follow seven gTLDs to have entered GA on 12 February – .contractors, .land, .technology, .construction, .directory, .kitchen and .today.Regarding .sydney, from 11:00 on 17 February, all eligible residents in New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, and service providers to the State are able to register a domain name ending in .sydney.NSW Finance and Services Minister Dominic Perrottet said the launch will encourage greater ecommerce and give a boost to the State’s digital economy.”The Government invested in .sydney to provide the New South Wales business community with a long-term digital asset that will create a platform for innovation and ensure the continued development of the digital economy across the State,” Mr Perrottet said.”Registering a .sydney domain name offers individuals and brands a new and innovative way of doing business online in New South Wales.”
Sydney has joined a growing list of global cities such as London, New York, Vienna, Berlin and Melbourne with its own generic Top Level Domain.As of today (4 December) residents and businesses in the state of New South Wales, along with providers of services to the state, can apply for their own .sydney domain in the Sunrise and Landrush, or pre-release, period. Sunrise closes on 3 February while Landrush closes on 13 February. General availability with the same eligibility requirements commences on Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 11:00:00AEDT.Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services – the Australian-based technology company managing .sydney and .melbourne – said the launch of .sydney would mark one of the most significant technology infrastructure projects in the State.”A .sydney web address will provide businesses, individuals and service providers to the State with an innovative way to show an online affiliation to the city and increase geographical relevance to their target audience,” Mr Kinderis said.”We know that city-based domain names like .sydney reward businesses by improving customer recall of their web address and enhancing trust through geographic association. They also provide greater message recall, increased engagement and search engine optimisation benefits that could give savvy businesses the edge over their competitors.”The .sydney gTLD is hoping to emulate the success of .melbourne, which currently has almost 3,800 domains registered. With similar policies but a larger population base, it should be anticipated registrations would be slightly higher.Mr Kinderis said there are many benefits for registering a .sydney web address and he expected many of the city’s leading businesses and proud residents to snap up the chance to own their piece of Sydney online.Applicants who apply for a .sydney domain name during the pre-release phase will get a head start to acquire their piece of Sydney’s new digital real estate.They will join some of the city’s most recognisable brands and personalities to be the first proud citizens of the State to use a .sydney domain.More information on .sydney domains is available from www.nic.sydney.
The first Australian generic Top Level Domain application has passed its initial evaluation. On Friday ICANN said ‘.melbourne’ has passed its technical and financial evaluations, with the number passing this stage now reaching 300, and being the next step in getting the gTLD up and running.The .melbourne is being led by the Victorian State Government, City of Melbourne and technology provider ARI Registry Services and is the first of 41other Australian applications, largely representing that .melbourne gained a relatively low number in the prioritisation draw (350th) compared to say, .sydney (1352nd), out of an overall pool of approximately 1900 applicants globally.Melbourne will be joined by the likes of London, Tokyo, New York and other high profile world cities and regions securing their own piece of online real estate.The plan for .melbourne is that it will usher in a unique online community for local people and businesses that will be targeted to their needs. .melbourne will be the home of trusted and genuine online content about Melbourne and Victoria.Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services, congratulated the Victorian Government and City of Melbourne on their collaborative vision and investment in the long-term digital strategy for the people of Victoria.”Geographical locators have always been important as a part of identifying where an online business is physically located. The success of, and immense value in, the .au brand is testament to this. .melbourne is part of an evolutionary change that will take this identification to another level,” Mr Kinderis said.”The State Government of Victoria and City of Melbourne have long recognised the value of a strong city brand. Through .melbourne, these governments now have an important and unique digital asset to amplify the global reach of Melbourne with every domain name registered under it.””.melbourne will become a quintessential part of the city’s business brand. Internet users will turn to .melbourne for familiar, trustworthy and local online content while savvy businesses will use the namespace to tap into the booming ecommerce potential of the city,” Mr Kinderis said.Following today’s successful completion of ICANN’s evaluation process, Mr Kinderis said ARI Registry Services will continue to work with the Victorian State Government and City of Melbourne on the remaining necessary steps, with the view of .melbourne being available in 2014.Businesses and Melburnians interested in registering a domain name under .melbourne are advised to stay tuned for a launch announcement expected in the coming months.
Domain names for four of Australiaâs capital cities have gone been listed for sale.
Sydney.com.au, melbourne.com.au, brisbane.com.au and adelaide.com.au have been listed for sale, as well as auction.com.au, at namesell.com with the sale being brokered by Domain Guardians.
The domains are offered for sale as a bundle, as groupings of one or more, or as individual domains and come up for sale prior to the launch of the top level domains .sydney and .melbourne, which the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria have applied for respectively.
Mike Robertson from Domain Guardians said the sale presents an opportunity for a major player to own the commercial domain names mirroring four of Australia’s five largest capital cities.
âThese domains/websites could provide a local entity or leading international corporation with a unique opportunity to become the dominant online player in Australia.
The sites are owned by companies involving three partners – former journalist Rod Ashcroft, businessman Michael Tancredi and It-specialist Phill Bertolus, reported The Australian newspaper.
Mr Tancredi told the paper that the trio originally bought the domain names around 1995-96 for “no sale price”. They had been developed as basic tourism sites.
âThere is no other situation in the world where a company or individual owns 85% of the country’s capital city domains,âsaid Robertson. In the US, most leading corporations are lucky to own one two capital city domain names.
âSydney.com.au is the No.1 ranked website in the Google.com.au search results when you search on the word ‘sydney’.
Mr Robertson said sydney.com.au and melbourne.com.au are lightly developed as tourism websites and already generate attractive revenue streams.
He said there is huge scope to broaden the websites to include residential and commercial property sales, car sales, job listings, auctions, travel, tourism, accommodation and entertainment and make these the stand-out websites for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
âAll traffic coming to the site is organic and free â grown from strategically placed backlinks dating back to the ’90s. The owners have never spent a cent driving traffic to sydney.com.au or any of the other city domain websites. â
For auction.com.au, Mr Robertson said the domain name is for sale, either as part of a bundle with the city websites or as a separate sale.
âThe domain name auction.com.au, commercially developed, could be one of the biggest online sales platforms in Australia.
ARI Registry Services has been selected by the NSW and Victorian governments to assist with the application and operation of the .SYDNEY, .MELBOURNE and .VICTORIA top level domains.ARI Registry Services has engaged professional services firm Ernst & Young and digital brand management services provider Melbourne IT to assist its consultancy work in developing the application for three Top-Level Domains that adhere to ICANN’s strict requirements.It was a big week for Australia on the TLD front with ARI Registry Services also securing the rights to apply for the TLD for one of the country’s most popular sports, the Australian Football League – .AFL.Meanwhile, other providers of services for TLD applicants have been alerting us to their successes, even if they have not been trumpeting who their clients are.It was announced by Domain Incite that Minds + Machines parent Top Level Domain Holdings has registered for another 20 TLD application slots with ICANN, bringing its total to date to 40. And Melbourne IT announced in an investor presentation for its full year results that there are 120 global brands working with their Digital Brands Services as of 14 February and they expect to be handling 150 applications by the closing date for new applications on 12 April.Melbourne IT, like many others, believe there will be a total of 1000 to 1500 applications for new TLDs coming online in 2013.These announcements could spur potential applicants, in particular brands, into belatedly applying for their own TLDs, with ARI Registry Services’ CEO Adrian Kinderis saying on the announcement of the .SYDNEY, .MELBOURNE and .VICTORIA announcements that:
“It’s great to see Australian governments and corporate entities embracing the opportunities presented by new Top-Level Domains and securing their identity as a digital asset for their constituents and stakeholders. Operating a Top-Level Domain is a significant undertaking and the governments of New South Wales and Victoria recognised the need for expertise, security and reliability in operating a core piece of Internet infrastructure. That’s why ARI Registry Services was selected for this critical project.””The introduction of new Top-Level Domains marks a sweeping evolution of the Internet. The appointment of ARI Registry Services by the governments’ of New South Wales and Victoria to provide strategic planning consultancy, application development support and technical registry operations will ensure the success of this ground breaking initiative. With world leading domain name industry experience and expertise, and the backing of our project partner, Melbourne IT and advisor Ernst & Young, we look forward to developing an asset that supports the needs of stakeholders and Internet users globally,” Mr Kinderis said.
An announcement is expected within the next week of the successful tenderer to assist with the application and run the registry for the .SYDNEY and .MELBOURNE gTLDs, The Australian newspaper reported today.The tender document, which was published in October 2011, said the Australian state governments of Victoria and New South Wales were seeking assistance in applying for the .SYDNEY, .MELBOURNE and possibly the .VICTORIA .NSW generic Top Level Domains.The application would see the cities, and potentially states, joining cities and regions around the world including Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Bavaria, Paris and London in applying for their own gTLDs.Tenders closed on 15 November and an announcement had been expected to be announced in late 2011. However time is of the essence with the three month application window closing on 12 April, while the deadline for applicants to register in the TLD Application System is 29 March.A spokesman for the NSW finance department told The Australian that the successful contractor would be announced within a week.The newspaper understands that the successful bidder has been chosen but NSW and Victoria were still finalising their requirements, but one of the requirements in the tender noted in The Australian was that the successful operator would also be required to pay state governments a flat fee of 20 per cent of any revenue it generates from the domains over $500,001.