May 16, 2006 12:17 PM PDT

ICANN approves .tel domain

An Internet regulator has approved the creation of the .tel domain, the company that proposed the domain announced on Monday.

Telnic, which proposed .tel to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2000, said the domain will give individuals and businesses a naming and navigation structure for Internet communications.

The idea is for people to use .tel as a way of communicating directly with the person or company behind a particular Web site, using technologies such as voice over Internet Protocol, e-mail or Short Message Service (SMS). Telnic used the examples of AdamSmith.tel or Hertz.tel.

"The .tel domain offers the first genuinely different use of domains since .com was first created. It will provide seamless integration of existing methods of communication, with emerging technologies like voice over IP," Telnic's chief executive, Khashayar Mahdavi, said in a statement.

"The days of needing to remember several telephone numbers, numerous VoIP or instant message identities and other points of contact for our social and professional networks are over. By leveraging innovative DNS (Domain Name System) technology, the .tel domain will allow anyone to publish and control, in real time, how they can be reached," Mahdavi said.

Telnic, whose mission includes developing a text-based naming and navigation system for Internet communications, hopes to start awarding .tel addresses in 2007.

A similar initiative, called ENUM, already exists. It uses an architecture based on the Domain Name System to resolve telephone numbers to domain name addresses.

Last week ICANN rejected the adult-oriented .xxx domain, a move that was welcomed by adult industry insiders but criticized by the European Commission, which accused ICANN of bowing to pressure from the U.S. government.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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4 comments

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How will they stop domain squatters?
I'd really like to know how they will stop those low-life scumbag domain squatters from holding our phone numbers hostage.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
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Same as they always do...
Every new TLD has a sunrise period when persons or organizations can claim a number based on current usage (such as 1-800-CALL-IBM) or similiar criteria. If people that currently have numbers such as 1-800-Holiday don't register them, its their loss.
Posted by YankeeZ (5 comments )
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names, not numbers
Did anyone RTFA? "used the examples of AdamSmith.tel or Hertz.tel." Squatters would not be registering phone numbers, but names. The whole idea is to connect your phone and fax numbers, email address, etc. into the .tel address so that people don't have to remember anything except your name to get in contact with you. Look out, BritneySpears.tel!
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
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Watch Out!!! Here comes AT&T and Uncle Sam
Yea, then we can ALL make it just a little easier for NSA and
AT&T (American Tattle .Tel).
That's why I'm dropping my landline. So that means my ISP
is going to loose profits (going cable)...which gives them
grounds to recoupe. Poor AT&T, sounds like class action to
me?
Posted by appletoys (23 comments )
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