NeuStar, the controversial new registry for the .us country code top-level
domain (ccTLD) extension, will soon open the doors for trademark holders,
officials said recently.
Starting March 4, the registry begins its Sunrise period on proprietary
domain names before opening the domain extension to the general public
April 9 on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties need look
no further than the .biz TLD for a better understanding of the process;
NeuStar owns NeuLevel, the .biz registry.
Jeffrey Ganek, NeuStar chairman and chief executive officer, said the
now-public domain gives people all around the world a U.S. presence.
“Users all over the world will be able to obtain a name that establishes an
American identity for them on the Internet,” he said. “A .US address will
tell the world who you are, where you live, or where you do business.”
New .us domain extension owners also have the added benefit of second-level
ccTLD names for their domain as NeuStar rolls out nationwide domain
extensions (for example, “yourcompany.us”), a process that will save
trademark owners from buying up to 50 domain extensions to protect their
name. In the past, the .us was broken down at the state level (for
So far, 29 registrars throughout the world have signed on to become .us
resellers. Potential domain owners must prove they have a U.S. presence or
citizenship before getting approval.
The Department of Commerce awarded
NeuStar the ccTLD back in October 2001, a planned migration of the
domain extension from government control and management to the business world.
The decision was met with disbelief and
disgust by many domain name advocates and Congressional members alike;
until then, .us was paid for through taxpayer support. What particularly
galled opponents was the fact NeuStar got the keys to this shiny new car
free of charge, after the government built up and paid for the infrastructure.
the domain’s transition from the government in November 2001.
To be fair, NeuStar is going to beef up the ccTLD infrastructure
considerably, implementing what officials call their “thick registry,” an
XML-based registry system that gives registrars and potential domain owners
nearly real-time information on the status of a particular domain name. By
contrast, the Big Three of domain names — .com, .net and .org are
refreshed only every 24 hours.