Mayor Bloomberg announced today that New York City has finally been approved to register the top-level domain ".nyc" for area websites. NYC will be one of the first places in the world to employ these new geographically specific top-level domain names, and to hear the mayor tell it, this .nyc is going to put this town on the virtual map: "Having our own unique, top-level domain - .nyc - puts New York City at the forefront of the digital landscape and creates new opportunities for our small businesses," Bloomberg said in a statement.
The Domain Name System was established to structure the Internet hierarchically and make the back-end intelligible, taking the underlying IP addresses and attaching them to specific domain names. The top-level domain names (i.e. .com, .net, .org, .gov) are of the highest level in the DNS. According to Bloomberg's statement, having the capability of the .nyc domain "will show that a business or individual is located in New York City and identify products and organizations serving the New York City community." The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been steadily expanding the number and type of top-level domain names allowed (Long live .XXX).
Registration is expected to be ready in late 2013. According to the program's website, Neustar, a publicly traded registry vendor, has taken care of the fees associated with obtaining the top-level domain for the city and will handle the "technical registry services and support necessary to make .nyc names available to the public." Residents can also apply for their own website on the .nyc domain; you just need a New York City address or, as the city puts it, a "'bona fide presence' in the City of New York, meaning regularly performing lawful activities within the city and maintaining an office or other facility in the city."
As for the cost? Well, that remains to be seen. "Registrars of .nyc domain names will determine the retail annual fee of .nyc domain names. The City expects multiple registrars to participate and for pricing to be competitive with the market prices for other top-level domains." For reference: sex.com sold for $14 million in 2010. What is your name.nyc worth to you?
“With a new top-level domain name, New York won’t just be the greatest city in the world, we’ll also be the greatest city on the internet," said Quinn, speaking on behalf of the Mayor of Cyberspace, who was busy with a .xxx ribbon-cutting elsewhere in the void.