The gold rush for .tel domain names has already started as the new told level domain name is released today, in what some have called, the biggest innovation in top level domains since the dotcom.
.Tel domain names cost between £10 and £25 a year and a few of the early bird customers are already using these domain names as advanced virtual business cards.
BT will start selling the domain name in May as part of BT Tradespace, its existing social networking platform geared towards small and medium businesses.
Social networking website, Myspace, has also been enlisted to become a .Tel domain registrar to promote what has been described as the Internet Phone book.
The .Tel service interacts directly with the domain name system, and unlike others, places contact information directly in the DNS information database rather than just using the DNS for routing purposes.
According to one domain registrar, this will allow businesses or individuals to create an online presence without resorting to an expensive website or paying web hosting costs.
A number of high profile companies like Google, Sony, Virgin have already registered their dot tel domain names, more because of potentially embarrassing cybersquatting cases that will arise.
With that in mind, Phil Kingsland, director of communications at registrar Nominet, told ITPro that "Companies should still be mindful of the opportunities and potential risks to an organisations’ brand as new domains are launched".
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Others are already starting to make the most of the early rush. Telnic has already announced that it has submitted a free, open source My .tel iPhone application to the Apple App Store but did not provide with details about what exactly the application will be used for except that it will be "revolutionising web publishing".
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