'.info' declared a success after shaky start

International

Afilias, the consortium charged with operating the new '.info' top-level domain registry, has announced that more than 500,000 '.info' domain names have already been registered. Afilias began accepting registrations in July and launched the domain at the end of September. In comparison, it took five years from launch before '.com' reached the same number of registrations. Afilias reported that 352,000 names were registered prior to launch, with the remainder occurring in October.

Roland LaPlante, the registry's chief operating officer, hailed the success of '.info' as a boon for the Internet. "Everyone from mom-and-pop stores to Fortune 500 companies is registering their '.info' web addresses," said LaPlante in a statement. Afilias has granted registrations to people from more than 70 countries. Surprisingly, more than half have come from Europe, with 40% from North America.

The speed at which individuals and organizations have registered domain names is good news for Afilias, which has faced problems over the last few months. During the pre-registration period for trademark holders, Afilias received numerous complaints that it had allowed people without legitimate claims to register domain names. Robert Connelly, an Afilias director, resigned in protest over Afilias's decision not to institute a quick remedy. Then, when the consortium launched its real-time domain name registration program on October 1, its servers could not cope and Afilias was forced to cut the service off for several days while it increased computing capacity.

The success of the new domain demonstrates that individuals and businesses worldwide still have faith that the Internet will be the premier marketing and communications medium for the 21st Century. It also bodes well for the operators of the six other new top-level domain registries.

Douglas Wood and Linda Goldstein, Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood LLP, New York

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