London will shortly be one of the first cities in the world to launch a new city domain name in the biggest change to the online world since .com was launched nearly 30 years ago.
Internet addresses ending in .london will be available next year after ICANN, the global internet body, signed a contract this week giving the new system the formal go-ahead. The agreement means London-based businesses, organisations and individuals will be able to apply first for new web addresses ending in .london from spring 2014, allowing them to maximise their internet presence and identify themselves online with one of the best cities on earth.
Tens of thousands of businesses, including some of London’s most prestigious brands such as Selfridges and Carnaby Street, have already expressed an interest in the new addresses.
By acquiring a .london address businesses, museums, shops, theatres and galleries will receive a domain name that is easy to remember and instantly identifies them as being located in London. Local businesses are also expected to benefit from consumers looking for services from London-based providers, helping to attract more customers.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Adopting the .london suffix will enable organisations to more closely associate themselves with our great city’s powerful global brand. This is also an excellent opportunity to expand London’s digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city.”
Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organisation for London, said: “When we have talked to London businesses and organisations about this, they’re extremely excited about the opportunities .london presents. We are already seeing huge interest – not just from London’s most prestigious stores and visitor attractions, but also from local businesses and tradespeople. Applicants will get a domain name that links them with London and is easier to remember and more powerful, potentially resulting in more customers.”
Hazel Kay, Interim Head of Marketing at Selfridges, said: “As an iconic London retailer, Selfridges has always taken care to be at the cutting edge of innovation in order to better serve our customers. Having a selfridges.london address is an exciting new opportunity to be creative with our web presence while showcasing our strong association with London, which is a key component of our identity.”
Claire Harris, Head of Marketing and Communication at Shaftesbury PLC, said: “It will be a great boost to know we can associate Carnaby even more closely with the capital by using the .london address. London is an incredibly strong brand in retail, fashion and lifestyle, so Carnaby is delighted to be able to promote its geographical and cultural identity across the internet in this way.”
The arrival of the .london address is an initiative led by London & Partners to pursue a new top-level domain in order to boost the city’s online identity.
With the support of the Mayor of London, London & Partners successfully applied to ICANN in 2012 to set up and manage the new .london domain. A London & Partners subsidiary called Dot London Domains Ltd has been created, and it has signed the contract with ICANN and will operate the .london registry.
Dot London Domains now plans to allow London-based businesses, organisations and individuals to apply for the new domain in spring 2014, giving them the first chance to own the new addresses that will be on offer. Companies with registered trademarks will also be able to apply during that time.
Information on the new .london is available online at www.mydotlondon.com. People can also sign up on the website to receive information as it becomes available.