A new top-level Internet domain will officially become available for registrations December 3, 2008. On that date, applicants will be able to start registering domain names corresponding to legal trademarks that they own. So-called ‘landrush’ registrations open on February 3 of next year and general availability commences on March 24, 2009.

The .tel system works differently from other domains in that it is specifically designed to store contact information for business and individuals. Another characteristic that sets .tel apart from other domain extensions is that it requires no separate server hosting. The contact information for each subscriber is stored in the DNS listing, as the official news release explains:

“…The .tel Registry provides the fully hosted page that displays contact information for each .TEL domain. All you need to do is sell the domain. .Tel will be of interest to a large range of customers, from large corporations right down to small business owners and individuals who want to make sure that their contact information is easily found and readily available online.”

In fact, the manager of the new domain range, OpenSRS, predicts:

“The .tel domain extension is poised to become the white pages for the entire Internet.”

Maybe. But, at a cost of (US)$329.60 for three years (including an initial flat rate registration fee of (US)$275), we predict that only major corporations and institutions will rush to avail themselves of .tel domains.

If you’re still interested, check out the official .tel web site.

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