Launch Date For .London Web Names Revealed
(Sky News (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)
London-based businesses, organisations and individuals will get first preference for the new domain names.
The rollout was approved late last year by California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which has controlled the structure for global naming conventions.
London & Partners, the city's promotional body, said tens of thousands of businesses, including prestigious brands like Selfridges and Carnaby Street, previously expressed an interest in the names.
London & Partners applied to Icann in 2012 to set up and manage the .london domain name.
It said there would be a three-month application period, during which companies or individuals holding trademark registration would have priority preference over contested names.
Pricing structures would depend on the popularity and importance of chosen names.
London is one of the first cities to get its own suffix - New York was the first US city to have an Icann approval - .nyc - last June.
Co-founder of lastminute.com and ex-Government digital adviser Martha Lane Fox said: "The new generic domain names are a big change to the web.
"Dot London offers businesses and organisations in the capital a chance to be at the cutting edge of that change and show the world how innovative they can be.”
A survey of 1,000 small businesses in London by YouGov suggested more than a quarter would likely register their companies using the new system.
It said that proportionally, that would be equivalent to more than 200,000 firms likely to seek registration.
On Wednesday, European commissioner for digital affairs Neelie Kroes urged a shifting away from Icann as the controlling force for domain names.
She cited overt US influence over Icann, recent revelations about NSA surveillance and a desire to see a more global governance structure for internet names.
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