April 16, 2006
Internet agency considers '.tel' domain name
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 and run by Telnic Ltd., which proposed it, according to the Associated Press on CNN.
"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.
... There's nothing inherent in ".tel" that would enable these features; rather, its aim is to create a place to which people would know to go to find contact information.
... The few who submitted comments to ICANN on ".tel" were skeptical.
Francisco Cabanas, owner of Canadian domain registration company FineE.com, said an organization like The Associated Press could simply create an address at "tel.ap.org," rather than require an "ap.tel."
Otherwise, who would get the ".tel" name? The AP? Internet service provider AccessPort, which uses "ap.net"? Or Audio Precision Inc., at "ap.com"? "It kind of magnifies the problem," Cabanas said. "If I'm looking for a phone number or an e-mail address or whatever and I'm getting a totally different (company), it defeats the purpose."
In recent years, ICANN has approved ".eu" for the European Union, ".jobs" for human-resources sites, ".travel" for the travel industry, ".mobi" targeting mobile services and ".cat" for the Catalan language, bringing the number of domains to 264.
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