New Internet domain to lure Aussie SMEs

Melbourne IT picked as one of ten global domain name registration firms to sell .CO to customers

ASX-listed services provider, Melbourne IT (ASX:MLB), expects SMEs with global ambitions to take up its newly released .CO Internet domain places.

According to Melbourne IT chief strategy officer, Bruce Tonkin, the Columbian Government previously owned the Web address extension but decided to a handover management to a private company after 10 years of lobbying.

“Melbourne IT was one of the companies submitted over a year ago because we’re one of the top 10 registrars globally,” he explained. “I think we’re the only one in this region. Most of the others are in North America.”

The rollout will come in two phases: The initial ‘Sunrise’ period from April 26 to June 10 will allow trademark owners to claim their stake; a second ‘Landrush’ period from June 21 to July 13 will allow anyone that hasn’t registered to claim a spot.

“For a company to get a short domain name, they’d need to buy it off someone who already owns it or register something that’s quite long,” Tonkin claimed. “The longer the name, the harder it is to remember and the easier it is to mistype.

“With .CO, there’s more chance for a smaller business to get a shorter, easier to remember and easier to spell name.”

The strategy officer was keen to claim Australian small businesses targeting global traffic would be the biggest winners with .CO.

“In Australia, .COM.AU continues to be the domain name of choice. If they’re looking for a name they want to use internationally, then .COM would be their premium choice,” Tonkin said. “If they can’t get a .COM they like, then .CO would be the next best thing.”

He went on to say global brands would snap up their own names to stop squatters from charging them large sums later on.

“Seven per cent of names often get mistyped without an ‘M’,” he said. “If you’re dealing with a lot of traffic to your website, an extra 5 per cent can make quite a bit of difference.”