The .BERLIN new gTLD

DEFINITIONS

Berlin is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. Politically Berlin has the official status of a City and a Federal State at the same time. The city’s website is http:⁄⁄www.berlin.de

Legal owner of the name BERLIN is the City of Berlin⁄Federal State Berlin.

HISTORY

The current new gTLD round started to emerge in the year 2005, after our company dotBERLIN publically requested ICANN to open a new round in order to allow top-level domains for global metropolises. Consecutively our company has published and presented a series of articles on the so called Region and City top-level domains which up to today serve as a fundament defining the principles and approaches of the new category of City top-level domains. We also contributed significantly to the paragraphs on geographical top-level domains in the Applicant Guidebook.

Not only by this has dotBERLIN become the precursor of the global development towards City top-level domains. Between 2005 and today we have consulted more than two dozen cities and city top-level domain initiatives in this matter. This was the reason why the dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG and its founder Dirk Krischenowski have been awarded by the German Internet Association eco for their visionary engagement and development of the new name spaces on the Internet in the years 2007 and 2011 respectively.

MISSION

The mission for the .BERLIN top-level domain has already been developed in the year 2005 by the founding team and is still true and valid:

.BERLIN is the independent top-level domain of the Community of Berliners in the Internet (the .BERLIN Community). The local domain names available with the .BERLIN top-level domain are concise and create an identity for citizens, companies and institutions. Those providing and looking for information, goods and services can thus intuitively come together. The .BERLIN domain names strengthen the feeling of community amongst Berliners, improve communication and make interaction easier, thus providing a stimulus for innovation and development. Both for Berliners and for non-Berliners, Berlin becomes more attractive as a place to visit, as a commercial location and as a place to live.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the .BERLIN top-level domain is to serve the needs and the many and varied interests of the Berliners (the .BERLIN Community) on the Internet.

The .BERLIN Community consists of individuals and legal entities that can demonstrate an economic, cultural, social, historic or other relationship to the City of BERLIN that can be verified by (i) a residence within the City of BERLIN, or (ii) a Whois contact’s residence within the City of BERLIN or (iii) other valid evidence.

The purpose reflects and incorporates the relationship towards the local conditions and the local interests of the relevant authorities, citizens and organizations. The needs of the Community in terms of the .BERLIN top-level domain are defined in order to serve the purpose:
  1. To give the City of Berlin, the Berliners, their locations and their organisations a unique destination proposition (UDP) by an own digital identity in the Internet with individual .BERLIN domain names.
  2. To create a new namespace with attractive .BERLIN domain names which are (i) demanded by the Community, which (ii) each member of the community may register and which (iii) are likely to create more and better search engine positions for the Community members.
  3. To facilitate an intuitive search and access approach for Berlin-associated content and service for citizens, tourists, investors, organizations and administration by a reasonable name space management including (i) the reservation and delegation of generic category domain names for special purposes such as directory services or for the support of the city’s homepage, (ii) measures to mitigate domain grabbing, cybersquatting, speculation and other unlawful activities.
  4. To aim at an active use of .BERLIN domain names by citizens, organizations and administration for websites, email and other domain name related services by creating awareness and offering support and to do so especially for individual citizens and SMEs.
  5. To create a sustainable local value chain with employment and in synergy with existing websites such as the city portal Berlin.de.
dotBERLIN has worked at any time since its existence with the community of Berliners to incorporate their interests. The incorporation ranges from information via numerous events towards becoming a part of dotBERLIN as a sponsor or shareholder and regular interactions with the City government and parliament. The way in which dotBERLIN reached out to the community has been adopted by many other City top-level domain projects as a role model.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We thank all the many dozens of Berliners and non-Berliners who believed in the idea of .BERLIN from the very beginning and have dedicated tremendous voluntary resources over more than 8 years towards the creation of the .BERLIN top-level domain. Without their support and contributions the vision of creating the world’s first local identity on the Internet’s top-level would not have been possible.
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Jovenet Consulting,
Aug 17, 2016, 9:12 AM