.CO Internet S.A.S has been aggressively promoting their new .co TLD, set to launch later this year.
The Registry is working hard to overcome the image of .co being labeled as a “typo-TLD”. In their extensive research, they found that more than 75% of those interviewed viewed .co as having to do with a “company”, “corporation”, or “commerce”.
“If you are a person that knows the difference between a cctld and gtld, if you are a person that knows what typo traffic is, then you’re not our target customer,” explained CEO Juan Diego Calle. “The reality is the potential of the space goes way beyond anything a domainer who’s looking at it from the point of view of traffic.”
.Co is the country code (ccTLD) for Columbia and has been limited in the past to Columbian companies. The University of The Andes, who has maintained control of .co, began looking into the process of opening the ccTLD for registration. Arcelandia S.A. and Neustar formed a partnership and were awarded a 10 year contract to run the Registry.
As with other TLDs, .co will be launched starting with a sunrise period that allows trademark holders to grab their names. Next comes the land rush, then open registration. The one key difference with .co, is the 28,000 names that are already registered prior to the extension being opened up. These domain owners that registered prior to July 30, 2008 will get first dibs on their name.
Additionally, the Registrar will be limiting their relationship to 10 Registrars who will be allowed to sell the new TLD. “When evaluating new models by which a new registry should operate, [Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications] felt it was in the best interest of the space to limit the number of registrars,” explained CEO Juan Diego Calle.
During the sunrise and landrush periods, which will be managed by Deloitte/Laga, if more than one application is submitted for the same name, then the name will be auctioned off at Pool.com.
.Co has been popular all over the world as a second level domain name with more than 20 countries currently using it (i.e. .co.uk, .co.jp).