‘.London’ Domains To Launch On 29 April

Parliament Government London © anshar Shutterstock 2012

YouGov poll finds over 200,000 London businesses are likely to claim new web address

The launch date of the new .london web address has been revealed as 29 April, spawning a new surge of interest amongst businesses regarding the domain.

A YouGov survey of small businesses in London, carried out on behalf of London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for the Mayor of London, found that more than one in four were likely to register for a .london web address.

The new domains will go on sale on 29 April, making London one of the first cities in the world to launch such a program. The date marks the start of a three-month period when Londoners will be given priority in reserving a new web address, with trademark holders given priority in securing their domain, with interest already registered from leading brands such as ABP, the Museum of London and Society of London Theatre.

London calling

Internet domain names © Dusit beboy Shutterstock 2012

“This is an incredible response from London’s small business community which sees .london as an opportunity to claim an exciting new web address that is uniquely associated with our city’s powerful brand,” says Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners. “We already know that tens of thousands of businesses have expressed an interest in a .london web address including major brands like Selfridges, Radisson Blu Edwardian and Carnaby.”

Supported by the Mayor of London’s office, London & Partners secured the new .london domain last year in a deal with global internet body ICANN following a long campaign.

“Adopting the .london suffix will enable organisations to more closely associate themselves with our great city’s powerful global brand,” Mayor of London Boris Johnson said at the time. “This is also an excellent opportunity to expand London’s digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city.”

The domain was originally set to be released during the summer, but has moved forward following ICANN’s acceleration of new domain rollouts worldwide. Earlier this month, the Arabic شبكة (dot-shabaka) became the world’s first non-Latin domain as ICANN looks to expand the range of addresses available. The next few months will see the rollout of more than a thousand new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), representing the biggest expansion of the domain space for decades.

The YouGov poll also found that almost half of businesses surveyed said they would aim to secure a .london domain as they were proud to be based in the city, with 41 percent saying a .london web address would help customers find them more easily.

Martha Lane Fox, the Government’s former digital champion says the new domains would be a big change for the web, offering 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.”

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