.eu: Coming to a Web Site Near You

According to this article ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) just gave the European Union the green light for using the .eu domain name.

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I first wrote about the new .eu domain back in October and I suspect it could be a very good thing for global Web sites. Many companies offer only regional Web sites, which would be an ideal fit for the .eu domain.

Although I don’t believe .eu will eliminate the need to register country level domains, like .fr or .de, it can provide a neutral “first step” for companies doing business in Europe. It also saves those companies just entering the market from registering a dozen country domains (although I would generally recommend companies do that anyway).

Ultimately, it’s great news for registrars, because every multinational now has to add yet another domain to their annual list of renewals.

UPDATE
Here is the official word from the folks at ICANN:

Earlier this week, ICANN’s Board took steps to authorize the delegation of .EU as a ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain), and for ICANN Staff to enter into an agreement with EURid and to complete the delegation of .EU. The technical teams of ICANN’s IANA function and EURid are working together to complete the entry of .EU in the DNS root.

The two-letter code for the European Union (.EU) appears on the ISO 3166-1 reserved list of alpha two-letter codes of country names. At the request of the European Commission, the ISO Maintenance Agency extended the scope of this reservation to cover any application of the two-letter code representing the name European Union, including its being used as a TLD. Following this step, the European Union commenced a process, in partnership with ICANN, to designate the .EU ccTLD.

Delegation of a new top level domain requires the completion of a number of procedures. The key requirement is that for each domain there is a designated delegee for supervising that domain’s name space. In the case of .EU, the European Commission identified EURid as the appropriate organization to manage .EU.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.