The New South Wales Government today signed a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to obtain exclusive online rights to the .sydney new Top-Level Domain.
NSW Finance and Services Minister Dominic Perrottet expects the introduction of the .sydney web addresses to fuel an "online real estate boom" for Sydney's digital economy.
'Launching in early-2015, .sydney will give NSW businesses and internet users their first opportunity to register local city-based domain names," said Perrottet. "Only a handful of the world's biggest cities have applied for their online name which means these web addresses have a competitive edge in digital branding."
The move to launch .sydney domain is part of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) program being rolled out by ICANN, the global regulator of web addresses.
NSW, along with Victoria, submitted a joint application to ICANN in early 2012 to obtain the .sydney and .melbourne gTLD names respectively. In late 2012, ICANN held a lottery after receiving 1,930 applications for gTLDs, with a number of Australian organisations lucky enough to make the first cut.
Almost all of Australia’s top four banks – with the exception of Westpac – also applied for gTLD suffixes in 2012, as well as a number of other organisations, including iSelect, Monash University, and Telstra, which lodged a request for .yellowpages.
The Victorian government announced in May this year that it had signed a registry agreement with ICANN to introduce the .melbourne suffix, after ICANN signed off in May last year on its application.
Now that the NSW government has a reasonable time-frame within which it expects to launch the new gTLD, it believes the introduction of the suffix will positively impact the city's economy.
"We expect that .sydney will transform the digital economy of the city," said Perrottet. "These domains will give businesses a new and highly targeted channel to communicate to their Sydney-based customers."
Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services, the internet infrastructure company appointed to manage .sydney and .melbourne, said that a .sydney web address will be an innovative way for individuals and businesses to clearly display an online affiliation to the city.
"Advertisers, digital marketers and major brands embracing .sydney will soon be able to target consumers in a way never before possible. Navigating the Internet via .sydney domain names will be the easiest way to identify products and organisations serving the Sydney and New South Wales communities online."