Saturday

7th Dec 2019

.eu domain open to all

The .eu domain name will be open to the public on Friday after four months of registration only for businesses and holders of prior rights.

In the so-called ‘landrush’ period to start on Friday (7 April) anyone living in the EU or any company with an office in one of the 25 member states can register for a .eu domain name on a first-come-first-served basis.

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"Nobody knows exactly how many registrations of new domain names to expect for Friday, but interest so far has been significant so I think we will see several hundred thousand," said Marc Van Mesewael from EURid – the private European non-profit group responsible for the .eu registration.

Last year, Europeans got their own regional domain name after having to choose between a national domain such as .de for Germany or a global one like .com – often seen as being a US domain.

A ‘sunrise’ period of registration started in December – for public bodies and business trademark holders – managed by EURid and in co-operation with a network of more than 1,000 accredited registrars across the world.

The restricted periods were used in order to limit the risk of cyber-squatting – the fraudulent use of domain names for reselling at very high prices.

"We think it has been successful", said EURid communication manager Patrik Linden referring to the restricted periods.

He said EURid had only received "a handful" of complaints on the dispute of domain names.

Unlike the landrush registration where domain names can be used immediately, a domain name registered in the sunrise period can only be used 45 days after it has been approved by EURid, should anyone want to dispute the rights to the domain name.

The group has so far received more than 340,000 registrations for over 240,000 different domain names. However, the process takes time and so far only around 25,000 .eu websites are active.

The domain name is most popular in Germany with more than 7,000 .eu websites while the suffix is least popular in Latvia where only 3 .eu websites are active.

Belgium, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden have between 1,000 and 4,000 while the rest of the EU countries have less than 1,000 active .eu websites so far.

Supporters of the .eu suffix believe such a domain name will help promote a European identity and create better visibility for pan-European companies.

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