The .tel domain differs from regular TLDs such as .com and .uk because, rather than store IP addresses for web servers, it links directly to content and information stored on the domain name server. The domain aims to provide a single location for people and businesses to store contact information.Telnic, the registry operator for the .tel TLD, said that tens of thousands of .tel domain names were registered during the period reserved for trademark owners, and are in the process of being populated with information."The launch of .tel represents the most significant innovation for the internet since .com," said Khashayar Mahdavi, chief executive of Telnic. ".tel domains represent incredible value for money to companies of all sizes, especially given the increased discoverability that a .tel provides through search engine optimisation."The new TLD had already sparked the interest of a range of sources, and domains can now be purchased from well over 100 registrars accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, including MySpace and BT.BT said that it will begin selling .tel domains in May, initially in association with its BT Tradespace social networking site for small businesses.Telnic has even created an application for the Apple iPhone. My .tel allows domain owners to edit and publish contact information provided on the site directly from the phone."The open registration period for .tel is upon us. Any individual or business may register their .tel domain, and the next few months will begin to show how successful .tel is likely to be," said Phil Kingsland, director of communications at .uk registry Nominet. "With overall growth in levels of domain name registrations slowing, it will be interesting to see how businesses react to this new TLD."Companies should still be mindful of the opportunities and potential risks to an organisation's brand as new domains are launched. Organisations should do as much as they can to stop online brand infringement by implementing effective domain name strategies to maintain the welfare of their brand identity."Now that they are open to the public, Telnic reckons a .tel domain should go for between US$15 and US$35, depending on the individual .tel service provider and the range of services available.
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