Amsterdam has applied for its own TLD at ICANN. The alternative offered by Unifiedroot has not been considered before the costly application was made.
Unifiedroot, a privately held technology company based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), has offered the city of Amsterdam its own TLD for a symbolic amount of EUR 1 (one euro). Documents made public by the city council indicated that the municipality has applied for the .amsterdam TLD at ICANN. The alternative offered by Unifiedroot has not been taken into consideration before the costly application was made.
Unifiedroot CEO Erik Seeboldt: “We are puzzled by the fact that we have never been approached by the municipality of Amsterdam about the possibilities to register and use .amsterdam as a new TLD. We have opened up the opportunity to register TLDs on our own independent system since 2005 and link those domains to the World-Wide Web. As soon as we found out that Amsterdam was seriously considering an application, we have offered to create the possibility to start using the domain .amsterdam for practically nothing. It has now become clear that potentially millions of tax payers euros will be spent on a TLD registration at ICANN, without even considering the alternative.”
The Unifiedroot system operates in parallel with the ICANN controlled part of the DNS. With the right DNS settings it is possible for any Internet device to use all traditional Top-Level Domains as well as those registrered by Unifiedroot. The fact that IP-addresses can be matched with TLDs registered on both systems is demonstrated by the Sundial browser (free download on www.sundialbrowser.com), but it can also be done manually on one’s smartphone and in other ways.
Unifiedroot has demonstrated over the past seven years that it is no problem at all to link the ICANN controlled part of the DNS and the Unifiedroot managed part. Unfortunately, the link-up example has not been followed by ICANN. Seeboldt: “We have always notified ICANN of new TLDs that we have registered. There have been contacts occasionally, but they have chosen not to discuss any possible issues such as collision with us.”
While ICANN is about to close its application period for new gTLDs and to start its review process, Unifiedroot continues to offer the possibility to apply for a TLD registration on its own system. Parties who have applied for a new TLD at ICANN can even select to run a parallel application at Unifiedroot and start using their TLD within a months, thereby securing their right to use this domain. It should be clear, however, that a registering a TLD only at Unifiedroot is a sound and less costly alternative.