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dot Brand makes its debut

Afilias advises companies to act now for successful TLD applications

Following the application window opening today for businesses to manage and run their own top-level domain (TLD), global registry services provider Afilias is advising companies to make an informed decision as soon as possible about whether to apply for their own dot Brand domain from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The limited period for applications only lasts through April 12, 2012 -- a mere 91 days. Before submitting applications, however, businesses need to respond to a set of 50 questions -- 22 of which are highly technical -- to qualify for a dot Brand extension. Starting an application sooner rather than later will give businesses the time to prepare a rigorous case for their TLD.

The launch of the dot Brand application window marks a historic change in the Internet, enabling any organization or business to feature their brand’s name on the right side of the dot in Web addresses rather than, for example, “.net” or “.com”. Businesses who fail to make their applications within the window run the risk of being at a competitive disadvantage for an extended period of time, since no date has yet been announced for the next round of applications.

Roland LaPlante, Afilias CMO, said, “Today represents a significant milestone for the Internet, with dot Brand domains opening tremendous opportunities for many businesses and sectors. Since businesses who become dot Brand registry operators will have complete control over who gets a name and how they use it, they will be able to more effectively leverage their brand properties online and better secure both the brand and brand transactions.”

A dot Brand extension offers businesses benefits over other top-level domains. First, dot Brands allow companies to expand their global footprint, giving companies more control over their brand presence and enhancing customer loyalty online, something that is particularly relevant within today’s tough economic climate.

dot Brands also offer enhanced security for industries plagued by counterfeiting on the Internet. Just as brands are trusted by consumers in the physical world, a dot Brand can extend this concept to a trusted space on the Internet, while giving customers a more secure way to purchase online.

“While businesses may prepare a dot Brand application by themselves, we recommend that they consult an experienced technical domain services provider to help with the application and implementation process. Given the short timetable, it’s best to use a provider that is already an ICANN Designated Registry Operator rather than a company unknown to ICANN. Proven solutions from known providers are more likely to result in successful applications,” LaPlante added.

Afilias supports 60 percent of all new TLD registrations on the Internet today and is working with new TLD applicants who wish to secure their own dot Brand extension. Details on dot Brand and how Afilias can help support businesses interested in submitting an application can be found free online at http://www.afilias.info/dotbrand.

About Afilias
Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias’ reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services and Managed DNS.

For more information on Afilias TLD services, visit http://www.afilias.info/global-registry-services/new-tlds.