A proposal for a .tel domain name for contact information is the last thing the web needs.
The newswires are running an AP story today about a proposal for a .tel new TLD:
To help people manage all their contact information online, the Internet’s key oversight agency is considering a “.tel” domain name. If approved, the domain could be available this year.
As proposed, individuals could use a “.tel” Web site to provide the latest contact information and perhaps even let friends initiate a call or send a text message directly from the site. Businesses could use a “.tel” site to determine customers’ locations and route them automatically to the correct call center.
This idea makes sense for one group only: the registry that will make money selling the domains (oh yeah, and the registars getting in on the action). Why would we want something like .tel? You can do the same thing with .name or .com. The .tel extension doesn’t even enable the goal of the domain — to make it easy to find people’s contact information.
There are plenty of services that allow people to keep their contact info updated. The people that would get a .tel domain are the same ones that use other services to allow people to contact them.
As the 2006 Domain Name Wire survey revealed, the community doesn’t want more domain extensions.
This domain name is narrowly defined in scope yet incomplete in details. ICANN should squash it now.