City top-level domains, city domains, cityTLD and city internet extensions signify all the same topic – an own digital infrastructure for a city based on the world’s most robust infrastructure, the Domain Name System (DNS).

What are the reasons for cityTLD? Why do we need them?

The most obvious reason is the scarcity of short, descriptive and memrable domain names under popular extensions like .com or country code extensions like .de or .nl. Since all good names with up to six letter have been registered you may face challenge when finding a suitable name (and domain name) for a new company. For sure you can get one of the good domain names, but you pay at least a 5 to 6 digits price. lso city governments face this problem, that’s wy they put everything under their own cityname.de or cityname.fr.

Today even more is the limited capacity a city portal like www.frankfurt.de may offer to all the new services created and planned. Nowadays not only city information and some egovernment applications are operated under the city portal. It is supposed to run also a Smart City applications, Internet of Things infrastructure, a cityID and other services. Running everything on one domain name creates a single point of failure – a topic that cities need to avoid.

With an own .city domain infrastructure both problems can be solved. The Domain Name System and its Top-Level Domain are the most stable Internet infrastructures on the planet, with a 100% uptime guaranteed by the Internet Supervisor ICANN.

The inventor and facilitor of the city top-level domain idea is Dirk Krischenowski. He is our team member and already envisioned in the late 1990’s that city may want and need an own namespace on the Internet. He published quite a number of relevant articles about the creation and management of cityTLDs:

Virtual Real Estate – Geographic Domain Extensions for Place Marketing

With an estimated 1 billion websites in late 2015, you can easily get lost in the world wide web. Imagine a domain name that makes you feel at home right away: geographic domain-extensions bring local identity to the web. The new domain extensions .nyc, .london and .berlin are the three biggest of that kind, with 87,169 (.nyc), 70,131 (.london) and 57,142 (.berlin) registered domain names until today. more

Top level domains to become powerful city marketing tools

The internet has become one of the most important marketing and branding tools for cities worldwide. In an age when Google search results often determine marketing success or failure, cities must find unique selling propositions (USPs) on the net to safeguard their global digital competitiveness. In this article, Dirk Krischenowski examines how future city and regional top-level domains (TDLs), such as dotBerlin or dotParis, can become powerful marketing tools. more

Universal Acceptance of New Top-Level Domains Reloaded

One challenge for all new top-level domains (TLDs) is the so-called Universal Acceptance. Universal Acceptance is a phenomenon as old as TLDs exist and may strike at many occasions… The effect when universal acceptance hits you is that you cannot send or receive email, get error messages or even worse when it looks like everything works but it does not and you do not even get a notification. more

The Discrepancy in Confusion and Similarity Decisions of New gTLDs

After more than half of the new gTLD String Confusion Objection determinations that have been published we have updated our popular chart which compares the Visual Similarity (determined by the SWORD tool) with the results of the String Confusion Objections. We found that there is a huge discrepancy in what has been expected in the ICANN community and what the „Experts“ have be decided. more

A Visualized gTLd Sequencing Proposal

As a follow-up to our previous CircleID article „Strong Support for IDNs, GEOs and/or Communities to Go First“ we have developed a flow chart which visualizes how the applications may be processed in a fair and transparent manner. The chart also shows that at the end of the day only about 1,200 new gTLDs may go online, that means that we will likely see about 730 drop outs. more

Strong Support for IDNs, GEOs and/or Communities to Go First

ICANN’s public comment period on how to resolve the contention scenario for probably 1,409 new gTLDs entering the root has closed on 19 August 2012. Alltogether 98 comments from parties around the globe have been received, representing language communities, cities, corporations, entrepreneurs and Internet users. In contrast to many comment periods we have participated in during the 7-year long policy development process for new gTLDs it seems that a clear opinion emerges from the applicants‘ community and other parties. more

New Geographical Top-Level Domains and Auctions

I was surprised by ICANN’s „Economic Case for Auctions in New gTLDs“ paper especially with view to the latest presentation on the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) implementation process in Paris. That Paris presentation highlighted the protection of community interests such as religious organisations, geographically based communities or indigenous groups and suggested a preference of bona fide community-based applicants against pure generic applications for the same string. Contrary to this the only text passage in the current paper where ICANN considered the community-based applicants is „a 25% bidding credit could be offered to community-based bidders whose community is located primarily in least-developed countries“. This reminds me of the discussion on discounts for HIV medicine… more

Study Shows German Internet Users Prefer Memorable Domain Names for Cities and Regions

The majority of private Internet users in Germany favour the increased usage of local domain endings as in .city or .region in the future because the more memorable names will help them to better find the information that they are looking for. That is the core result of a representative survey that was commissioned by eco Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft and conducted by the market research company eResult at the beginning of October. eco is the registered association of German Internet enterprises… more

Local „.city“ TLDs as an Opportunity for City Portals

One of the most frequently asked question when it comes to the discussion about a city top-level domain „.city“ (such as .london, .berlin or .nyc) is what .city means to the already established official city portal (such as London.gov.uk, Berlin.de, NYC.gov or in general City.com). This article contributes to the most important topics in this discussion… The choices at the top-level available to individuals, companies and regional communities is today limited to country codes (such as .de or .fr) and a very few generic endings (such as .com or .info). Individuals and companies in cities can’t really identify with Internet addressing and look for ways to circumvent it. For instance, the term „hamburg“ is already used in about 50,000 domains such as www.habour-hamburg.de demonstrably showing that they belong to the Hamburg community. The synonym „nyc“ can be found in almost 300,000 domains… more

City Identifiers on the Net: A Closer Look

Cities are among the largest regional authorities and natural human communities we know. Of course there are countries like China, India or the USA which count some hundred million or even a billion inhabitants. But there are also countries with far less than 100,000 inhabitants, like Tuvalu, Andorra or Barbados. If city communities are ranked by the number of inhabitants as independent entities among country communities, cities like Tokyo, New York, Shanghai or London head the ranking because they have more citizens than many countries. London for instance has more inhabitants than the Netherlands, and Tokyo outpaces Canada in that respect. Interestingly, there are only around 400 cities worldwide with more than 1 million inhabitants… The following post will give an overview of how cities are being identified on the Internet via Top-Level Domains and the opportunities that lay ahead. more

Urban Identity by City Top-Level Domains

This document is intended to be a starting point for a discussion on upcoming city Top-Level Domain Names (city TLDs) such as .berlin, .nyc, or .london. It reflects considerations about the impact of city TLDs on the city society, the individuals in the city, the regional and global environment, and the Internet at large. more