Elite '.pro' domains will be offered at an elite price

International

New York-based RegistryPro Inc has executed a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) authorizing it to administer the '.pro' domain. Certified professionals will be able to register web addresses in the generic top-level domain by the end of the year.

One-year registrations will carry a retail price of $250 to $300 - nearly 10 times the cost of '.com' registrations - and '.pro' addresses will be available only in jurisdictions where RegistryPro is able to verify the credentials of applicants, which will initially include lawyers, doctors and accountants, and later be extended to engineers, architects and other professions.

RegistryPro says it is working with leading professional associations to establish an advisory board that will (i) collaborate on shaping eligibility requirements, and (ii) help establish '.pro' as an industry standard. However, the jury is out on whether RegistryPro can create a successful "gated community for professionals", as suggested by its chief executive, Sloan Gaon.

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

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