Companies in South Africa could soon be occupying a much more specific space on the internet as the .durban domain name has passed its first evaluation stage.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is rolling out its generic top level domains later this year and these include generic, brand specific and location based domain names.

While Durban has already passed the first stage it is expected the other two cities that have been applied for – Johannesburg and Cape Town – will also see their own top level domains approved as well.

Having a location specific domain name will enable local businesses to gain more exposure on the internet and make it much easier for customers to find the business they are looking for.

This domain name expansion also offers more brand protection for companies as ICANN has opened up the Trademark Clearinghouse, which enables organizations to register their brands in order to stop people from using their intellectual properties in a domain name.

The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA), which currently oversees the internet domain names in South Africa in partnership with the Department of Communications and ZA Central Registry, applied for the approval of .durban, .joburg and .capetown as generic top-level domain names.

According to the authority, ICANN looked to establish whether or not it had the financial and technical ability to operate and maintain one of the new top level domains during the first evaluation phase.

Hasmukh Gajjar, chairman of ZADNA, told the news provider his organization had applied for the three cities because “we saw a firm trend where leading international cities are planning to secure their exclusive name spaces”.

He said the Durban application was ranked ahead of the Cape Town and Johannesburg applications when ICANN used a lottery system to prioritise the 1,300 top-level domain name applications received last year.

Preparations for the launch of the three city top level domains are now underway with ZADNA planning to hold a policy and project workshop with the three cities on May 31st 2013, which will outline launch plans for the three cities.

For more information on the TMCH and new gTLD’s please contactDigital Brand Corporation Service Company.

Durban set to receive its own top level domain name
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