.NYC domain names available for registration today.
The .NYC domain name goes into general availability for New Yorkers today after a long, citizen-initiated process.
A Long Road
In the middle of the last decade, a group of New Yorkers proposed the idea of creating a .NYC domain to the city government. The city council passed a resolution to assign resources for a .nyc bid in 2008 and issued a request for proposal to find a partner in 2009.
The city select Neustar, which runs the registry for .biz and .us, and signed the contract in 2012.
Under the terms of the contract, Neustar led the effort for applying for the top level domain with ICANN and paid the associated fees. Neustar is also in charge of marketing the domain name and ongoing ICANN costs. For its work, it will keep 60% of the $20 wholesale fee per registration and the city will get the rest.
A Restricted Namespace
Unlike recently launched geo domains including .London and .Vegas, .NYC is only open to registration by locals. In order to register a domain name you must live or own a business in one of the five New York City boroughs.
“The city decided on this policy a number of years ago,” explained Jeff Neuman, VP of Registry Services for Neustar. “They wanted to ensure .nyc is for New Yorkers.”
“There’s a policy advisory board and it was very important to them as well,” Neuman said. “So you can imagine names like rayspizza.nyc or tonyspizza.nyc, they want to make sure someone in New York got that and not someone in Kansas City.”
The restrictive policy means that some people that associate themselves with New York and pay taxes to the city will not be eligible. For example, the banker that lives in Connecticut and commutes to a job in Manhattan isn’t eligible.
Neustar will use a proprietary tool to validate addresses. The tool is already offered by Neustar to other industries for services it provides.
.NYC has been marketed to New Yorkers for a while now. Don’t be surprised if you find similarities between .NYC marketing and that of .Co.
Neustar acquired .Co Internet earlier this year for about $100 million, and getting .Co’s marketing talent was a key part of the acquisition.
“The talent we got with the .co acquisition is really irreplaceable,” Neuman said. “.Co was really the first top level domain to do a consumer based marketing program, one that was very different and very successful compared to previous launches. It really was one of the reasons Neustar did the acquisition.”
Neuman noted that .NYC has been a multi-year project that predated the .Co acquisition as well.
Time for Lift Off
.NYC hits general availability at 11 ET today, and is available at many registrars for prices between $25-$40. The domain is only available at accredited registrars; domains are not being sold direct to consumers.
There will be a launch party in the Flatiron district (FlatIronDistrict.nyc) at 1 PM local time. A number of .NYC founders will be there, and there will be entertainment from Musical Theatre Factory (MTF.nyc) and Bridget Kelly (Bridget.nyc).
.NYC should be big, and it’s also a big test. Will the restrictive registration policies limit interest in the namespace? Or will it lead to .NYC being a must-have address for all New Yorkers and local businesses?