Top Indian firms in race to own domain names

S. Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018



Government applies for .bharat extension

Top Indian companies such as Tatas and Reliances are in the global race to own their own domain names on the Internet.

The companies have applied for generic top level domain (gTLD) names that could be used in extensions of their own domain.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global agency for Internet related tasks, will release the entire list of nearly 2,000 applicants from all over the world on Wednesday.

According to sources, the number of applications from India is not expected to be more than 100.

“We have applied for registering “.tata” as a generic top level domain name,” Mr Debasis Ray, spokesperson, Tata Sons, told Business Line.

He said while there are several benefits, it can help increase global brand visibility.

“It can become the focal point of the Tata Group's Internet presence for both internal and external users and it provides us with complete control over second level registration and use,” Mr Ray said.

Biggest revolution

The Indian Government is also understood to have applied for the ‘.Bharat' extension. Mumbai-based Directi has applied for 31 generic domain names, including .news, .bank and .hotel. The move by ICANN to open up domain name levels is considered as the biggest Internet revolution till date by many experts.

This is expected to change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence.

Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organisations around the world opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.

“Directi has applied for 31 TLDs with an investment commitment of over $30 million in the first leg of the process that puts it on the map of world's top five domain registrars,” Mr Sandeep Ramchandani, Director – Strategic Partnership, Directi, said.

He said such domain names will open chances for new avenues as ‘.com' is already exhausting.

However, because of non-discloser agreement with the companies, the registrars are not naming them.

Mixed bag

“We are one of the largest registrars for domain names and have applied for around 25 companies which are among top 50 in Nifty,” Mr Jasjit Sawhney, Founder Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Net4India, said.

However, ICANN's new domain naming presents a mixed bag of opportunities as well as challenges for the domain industry.

Registration of new domains creates more avenues for cyber criminals.

Even in the current context, it is common to have rogue Web sites that are attempting to gain traffic directed to another site or brand.

“Users will be at greater risk with trusting the domain names. It is best recommended that users have security software installed on their computer in order to assist them in making the right choices,” Ms Paula Greve, Director – Web security research, McAfee, said.

ICANN is charging $185,000 for each application initially.

The agency will take around six months to shortlist each application. In the case of two same applications for a domain name, it would auction for it.

Published on June 12, 2012

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