Not-for-profit domain operator pushes for NGOs

Juha Saarinen | May 31, 2012 7:14 PM
.NGO and .ONG on the cards.

The world’s third-largest top-level domain operator has proposed a new domain specifically for non-government organisations.

The Public Interest Registry, which operates the .org top-level domain, this week filed an application with global domain body ICANN for the creation of .ngo and .ong domains.

The last-minute application is one of 1900 submitted by private companies, governments and individuals as part of ICANN's generic top-level domain process, allowing thousands of new top-level domains such as .coke or .sydney.

The application process, which closed in May after significant issues, required successful applicants to pay US$185,000 for processing and potentially millions in annual costs to operate the domain.

The Public Interest Registry proposed the .ngo and .ong domains be used exclusively for and by NGOs, with prospective applicants required to verify themselves first.

Eligible organisations that already have a .org domain would also receive one of the new domains.

The second domain, .ong, was proposed to cater for Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, which had a slightly different acronym for the organisations.

The registry also indicated intentions to set up a directory service for NGOs with the new domains in order to increase visibility. It would reinvest the money it receives from registrations into the non-profit sector.

Should ICANN accept the domains, they could go live as early as next year.