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Major Domain Name Advance in the Offing: .tel Domain Names Soon to be Available

Telnic has announced that .tel top level domain (TLD) names will be available either during the fourth quarter of 2007 or early in 2008.  In May of 2006 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formally approved the introduction of of the .tel TLDs for use.  The .tel TLD allows both individuals and businesses the ability to be connected over the Internet using communications technologies including voice over IP, email and short message services.  A customer or client desiring to communicate with an individual using such technologies will need only to navigate to the appropriate .tel URL.  By way of an example, a mobile phone user wishing to connect with and its customer service department need only navigate to the website and then press the talk button in the mobile phone handset. 

One of the other goals of the .tel TLD will be to allow traditional phone numbers to be both registered as domain names and to associate IP services with those address.  Again, by way of example, an individual may utilize voice over IP to call a traditional land line phone by adding the .tel to the phone number and navigating to the appropriate address.

The announcement by Telnic introduces a new challenge for companies that are doing business on the Internet and World Wide Web.  For example, companies that have multiple domain names very well may need to acquire multiple .tel domains.  The failure to make such acquisitions may result in other entities acquiring those .tel domains and “free riding” on a business's reputation and goodwill. 

In addition, businesses may also need to implement costly measure including integrating their network servers with traditional phone systems.  Finally, the denial of service attach – which occurs when an attacker floods an Internet server in such a way so that legitimate requests cannot get through – will present an increasing challenge to businesses that integrate the .tel TLD.  One method through which cybersquatting can be curtailed will be to undertake the launch of .tel domains in stages so that existing domain registrants will have priority in registering the corresponding .tel domain names.


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