The City of Melbourne and Victorian Government have secured initial approval to own the .melbourne top-level domain name from the global regulator of web addresses.
The new .melbourne top-level domain is one of the first Australian applications to receive initial approval from Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), ahead of around 40 other Australian applications. There were 1930 applicants worldwide which applied to ICANN for top-level domain names. Of these, 41 were Australian.
Melbourne will be joined by the likes of London, Tokyo, New York and other high profile world cities and regions securing their own piece of online real estate.
Moving away from globally-based domains such as .com, .net and .org, .melbourne will usher in a unique online community for local people and businesses that will be targeted to their needs. .melbourne will be the home of trusted and genuine online content about Melbourne and Victoria.
The application period for new Top-Level Domains closed on 30 May 2012 and the applications submitted to ICANN were revealed on 13 June 2012.
North America and Europe account for more than 80% of all applications, while Asia Pacific accounts for only 15%.
Google applied for 101 new Top-Level Domains, while Amazon applied for 76 and Microsoft for 11.
There are 230 domains where at least two applications were submitted. The most contested domains are: .app with 13 applicants, .inc and .home with 11 each and .art with 10.
Approximately 57 applications have been withdrawn from the program while around 300 have passed evaluation. All evaluation results will be released by August 2013.
The two governments have been working with contractor ARI Registry Services to secure .melbourne through the current Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) process.