.eu hits the sky

The new top level domain, “.eu”, started accepting applications yesterday.
As of today… No, as of this minute they have 1,240,956 registrants. Why I corrected myself, with “as of this minute”? Because 7 hours ago there were “only” 1,212,553 domains. 28,403 domains for 7 hours is quite an achievement.

Here are some excerpts from the media and from the EU Commissioner Mrs. Reding on that topic:

(btw, while I was writing this article, and googling for more information, the number of domains is already 1,241,383, which means 427 in the last 15 minutes added; p.s. on the next day, Sunday, there were 1,277,011 domains, and on Monday noon – 1,337,511 – they keep the speed)

This came on April 6:

The European Commission is preparing for the official launch of this top-level domain, which is intended to supplement, rather than replace, existing domain names. Until the launch of .eu, Europeans starting an Internet site had to choose either a dot-com domain, which many around the world associate with the United States, or a national domain such as .uk for residents of the United Kingdom.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN ­ which manages Internet domains ­ has given the official go-ahead. The negotiations between ICANN and the European Registry of Internet Domain Names, or EURid, lasted nearly six months, though no one can explain what took so long. Until recently, ICANN had favored a strict limitation on new domain names.
“I expect Europe’s top-level domain, .eu, to become similarly as important as dot-com,” Viviane Reding, the EU’s information and media commissioner said in a statement.
Reding added that this new domain would protect businesses and organizations from cyber criminals. It also offers a European alternative to the traditional dot-com and .co.uk web addresses.

And this is after the start:

“We are satisfied to see that the interest in .eu has been so large and that many already regard .eu as a useful complement to Internet’s national top level domain names,” says Marc Van Wesemael, the Managing Director of EURid.
The more than 1 000 accredited registrars who assist potential domain name holders in registering domain names were quite keen to start registering. During the first hour .eu domain names were being registered at an average speed of 76 per second.

The fact “.eu” is developing so well, is a good sign for the Internet. It’s also good for the intention of ICANN to continue with establishment of new gTLD (see resolution named “Notice of Intent to Advance Implementation of New gTLD Process”.

I am quite confident, as I’ve stated before, that the country code top level domains could be the actual competitor for the “.com”, until a new generic TLD is created to “beat” them. “.eu” proves I was right.

I need to make a clarification, though – some of the news reports about the “.eu” say that the delay for the launch of the new top-level domain was becaus of ICANN’s process. That’s not correct. The actual delay was caused at the European Commission level. I will ask for more information from the EC, and will publish it here, as soon as I get it.

I wish the Europeans good luck in the months to come! And good management of the EURid.eu! From January 1st, 2007, many Bulgarians will also choose the “.eu” instead of the expensive “.bg” ($60 start-up fee, and $ 60 / year – can you believe that?!)

P.S. from April 11:

However, there seem to be some glitches in the system. See the CEO of GoDaddy and what he has to say. I only wonder – did they warn EURid in advance for the possible glitches? If they did, why wasn’t the EC warned, if EURid didn’t react? I guess some lessons will be learnt from that new TLD.

P.P.S. From April 22: As of today the number of domains has stabilized around 1.6 Million.

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