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GNR Relaunches .name Domain.

Global Name Registry Ltd yesterday opened registrations at the second level of the .name top-level internet domain, having seen extremely disappointing sales and some technical hitches over the two years it has been in operation.

From yesterday, people can use one of 60-odd accredited domain name registrars to register domains such as smith.name, whereas previously only the third level, the "john" in john.smith.name would have been available.

The move comes almost a year after GNR admitted that ".name registrations now trail other new gTLDs [generic top-level domains] by a dramatic amount", and cast doubt upon the viability of its own business model.

There are believed to be about 100,000 .name domain names currently registered, about a tenth of the amount the .biz and .info domains, which were approved at the same time as .name, had each accrued in their first years of operation. Opening up the second level means customers have more freedom to choose their domains. It also means GNR will be more likely to secure "defensive" registrations from trademark holders that don't really need the domain but want to make sure nobody else can register it.

It also helps GNR navigate a technical quirk that was unique to .name as a TLD and which limited uptake among the registrars that are ultimately responsible for selling domains to end-users.

Because only third-level domains were previously available, john.smith.name and fred.smith.name could be registered to users on two separate ISPs, GNR owned smith.name and had to act as a central relay for email.

Under the new system of second-level registrations, this needs no longer be an issue.
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Title Annotation:Global Name Registry Ltd
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 15, 2004
Words:275
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