The .tel TLD finally went live today, in a proper, non-sunrise-period sort of way.
.tel is an interesting beast - it offers its users a communications hub, rather than a website per se. The clever bit is, it stores simple text-based information, such as a user's telephone number and Facebook profile name, on the domain name system (DNS) itself, rather than using the DNS for routing (it's original purpose).
So, naturally, I tried today to register a .tel domain name for myself. I went to my usual registrar, Telivo, to do this and was not surprised to find "meyer.tel" taken - I share my surname with a cookware company. I was however shocked to find "david.tel" available.
Obviously, I bought it. Or, at least, thought I had. I knew that successful registration was "pending", and knew the whole "david.tel" thing was a long shot, but was still a bit disappointed when the registration failed. Telivo sent me an email to inform me of this, and said to contact them immediately.
I did so, and was told that, when new TLDs such as this become available, there's something of a lag at first in the availability status of newly-registered domains becoming available. Interesting to know. It told me "meyer.tel" was taken, but "david.tel" wasn't. It was wrong.
The nice chap on the other end of the line said Telnic, the company that administers .tel, had probably held david.tel back for some reason or another.
However, it appears that Telivo did nonetheless process my transaction, to the tune of around £35. They say I'll be refunded tomorrow.
Methinks the database systems being used to support the launch of .tel were not up to today's task.