It may become easier to remember a New South Wales or Victorian government website in future, after the two today went to market for new generic top-level domain names to spruce up their web addresses.
Generic top-level domain (gTLD) names were approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently. This means that companies can now register any domain suffix that they like for their website. Coca-Cola, for example, could choose to have http://www.coca.cola as its website.
The two governments launched a joint request for tender to the market today, looking for a partner to steer them through the application process to ICANN.
The two governments will look to acquire the .sydney, .melbourne and .victoria domain names, with the potential to expand the application to .NSW in the future.
The two governments are proposing to meet the initial US$185,000 evaluation fee for the gTLD application, as well as any additional fees that arise, with the registry operator set to foot the bill for the start-up and ongoing costs of the gTLD.
Despite a unified tender process, however, the successful registry operator will sign two contracts — one for each government — for a period of five years.
MelbourneIT today told ZDNet Australia that it has a keen interest in applying for the contracts. After posting less than stellar first-half results, MelbourneIT has caught onto the prices that it can charge to help enterprise and government apply for and run premium gTLDs. MelbourneIT charges between $45,000 and $75,000 just for the application process.
"That [figure] doesn't include all the other things we can charge for in the future," MelbourneIT said at its August results briefing, adding that even a small number of applications will likely have a sizeable impact on the company's bottom line.