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Businesses 'must hurry' for DotCities

Domain name allocations will go according to the ZACR's priority system.

Domain name allocations will go according to the ZACR's priority system.

As the initial domain name application period for .joburg, .capetown and .durban addresses draws to a close, a local registrar has urged business owners to move swiftly before the "general availability phase" kicks in.

The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) had instructed applicants to approach registrars to apply for preferred and highly sought-after domain names during the current "land rush" phase, which ends in November. The general availability phase will then kick in, allowing for a wider range of applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wayne Diamond, MD of Domains.co.za – a local registrar accredited with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – says businesses that take advantage of the current land rush period "will ensure [they] have the best chance of securing their deserved domain name" and position their brands more clearly to customers.

He says the current application fee for regular domain names is R1 500, while premium domain names such as Insurance.joburg cost R6 500.

However, notes Diamond, if there are two or more applications for the same domain name before the end of the land rush phase, the domain name will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Prioritised allocations

When the ZACR unveiled its launch programme for domain name registrations in April, it noted applications would be considered according to "priority rights" such as businesses, trademarks or company names. It said those rights would be validated through a trademark clearinghouse or through the local mark validation system.

"At the conclusion of the launch phase, all domain name applications will be assessed and allocated according to a pre-determined priority system," the ZACR said.

Diamond says cities could also capitalise on the new domain names by enhancing their brand values as soon as the new Web sites are launched.


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