Friday, June 15, 2012

BBC seeks personalised web address

The BBC has filed for a new personalised .bbc top-level web domain, in one of almost 2,000 applications submitted to internet body Icann as it opens up the online address system.

The non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) revealed details of 1,930 submissions for new top-level domains yesterday.

Currently companies and individuals are restricted to a choice of just 22 generic web domains, such as .net or .org, and 280 country codes, such as .uk – a system that is due to change as part of current application process.

The BBC, which uses for domestic sites and .com for overseas visitors, was one of a handful of broadcast-related companies to file for new domains.

The UK broadcaster said that there were three main reasons it decided to apply for .bbc: to remain at the forefront of internet engineering developments; to protect and maintain the BBC brand; and to potentially make it easier for online audiences to access, identify and navigate BBC content.

“There are clear potential benefits to a .bbc domain, both for audiences’ enjoyment of our content, and in making BBC Online fit for the future. We’re not alone in this thinking: we know Google has applied for .google and .youtube, and anticipate many more big organisations will be among those revealed,” the BBC’s controller of research and development Matthew Postgate commented yesterday.

Dish DBS Corporation, the owner of the DISH Network television service in the United States, was among the firms to file for a string of domains, including .OTT, .DTV and .Blockbuster. Dish took over video rental business last year and unveiled a revamped Blockbuster-branded mail and streaming rental service last September.

Elswhere, Netflix applied for a .Netflix domain, while the Weather Channel applied for both .weatherchannel and .weather. The top contested domain suffix was .app, with 13 companies including Amazon all applying for this.

“There are several domain names such as ‘app’ and ‘book’ with multiple reputable applicants, none of which have a particularly unique claim to the phrase in question. It will be interesting to see how these disputes play out, both during and after the registration phase,” said Campbell Newell, a partner at intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk.

Icann will now evaluate the applications, with the first new domains expected to be delegated in early 2013.

(Source : C21Media)

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