Rub shoulders with leading experts and industry disruptors at TNW Conference →

Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on August 7, 2008


Belgian hosting company starts preregistration for new domain extensions

Belgian hosting company starts preregistration for new domain extensions
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Gent-based hosting company Combell has announced preregistration for new top-level domains like .tech or .blog. By doing this, the Belgian company tries to make some money out of the millionaire sentiment surrounding the new domains. Imagine you manage to claim the .porno domain – you’ll never have to work again. Just sell domain names for a price that seems reasonable (or not) to you. According to Belgian news site IT Professional, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) called the plans “absurd”.

After its 32nd meeting in Paris in June, ICANN announced that it approved a recommendation that could see a whole range of new names introduced to the Internet’s addressing system. Yet a final version of the implementation plan must be approved by the ICANN Board before the new process is launched. It’s intended that the final version will be published in early 2009, so yes, it would be fair to say that Combell’s plan are quite absurd.

Though the ICANN should be thankful, as this “world-premier” from Combell gives the corporation a lot of attention. A somewhat funny announcement like the one from the Belgium company makes the news easier to spread.

€100.000 for your last name

So what will it take you to register, say, your last name as a top level domain name? Business Developer at Combell Tom de Bast told IT Professional that a customer needs around a 100.000 euros of start capital to buy a top level domain. Combell also asks potential domain sellers to prove they will be technically able to sell the domain names.

Brand-owners will be the first ones to get a chance to register their own top level domain name. De Bast expects cities to claim their name, like police.gent or post.gent. After that, everybody gets a shot. Including you.

Not just Roman characters

Combell will probably be concerned with the registration of Roman characters-based domain names. But that’s not all there is to it. “One of the most exciting prospect before us is that the expanding system is also being planned to support extensions in the languages of the world,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s Chairman. “This is going to be very important for the future of the Internet in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia.”

Exciting indeed, the Internet’s addressing system will change radically. Combell is ready for it.