Australian businesses reject pricey top-level domain names

Australian businesses and organisations have shunned new top-level domain names, with the majority of the names likely to go to international companies in the first round of global allocation.


The high cost of new internet domain names which incorporate brands appears to have dissuaded Australian companies from applying.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has announced that the names of all 1,900 applicants and the domains they are going after will be revealed on June 13.

In Australia, the Australian Football League has already revealed it is seeking .afl and internet service provider iiNet is trying to secure its own domain.

Melbourne IT and ARI Registry Services, part of the AusRegistry group, have been acting as agents for 307 organisations looking to secure a domain name.

However, only a quarter of the 146 applications Melbourne IT has processed are for Australian businesses and organisations.

Tony Smith, general manager of communications for Melbourne IT, told SmartCompany that the costs of $185,000 for the application process and then potential registry fees to ICANN of $25,000 a year had deterred many Australian businesses.

“We have been targeting applications globally. But it is a big investment for a company to do this, so it is really only for serious applicants,” says Smith.

“It is mainly big companies in terms of brands and there are more big brands overseas than in Australia.”

Smith says Melbourne IT is not disappointed by the lack of response from Australian business and more local businesses may apply in the next round of applications.

“We are really happy with what we have achieved,” says Smith.

“Once the first round of names go through, other people will probably look to the next round to apply if it is successful.”

Smith says even if businesses have not applied for a top-level domain name, the evaluation period, which is open for 60 days from June 16, is still relevant.

“It is important for companies that may not have applied but may have concerns about some of the names that have been submitted,” says Smith.

“Say you are Hilton Hotels, and you find on reveal day there are three applicants for .hotel and you see that one of the applications looks very good and has a strong business model, but the others don’t have appropriate policies for business name abuse or models. You have an opportunity to file a comment in support of the strong applicant.”

ARI has experienced a similar lack of interest from Australian businesses as Melbourne IT.

”I don’t think Australians embraced it as well as they could have,” ARI chief executive Adrian Kinderis told Fairfax.

The company changed its name from AusRegistry International to ARI Registry Services to make its business more attractive to international clients.

”The ‘Aus’ did make it a bit tougher for our sales guys,” Mr Kinderis said.

Most of the brand names applied for by companies and organizations have not been revealed yet, but some generic names applications have gone on record, including .hotel, .baby and .shop.

Google is seeking 50 domain names, including .google, .youtube and .lol, according to Smith.


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