Berlin Becomes First City To Have Its Own Internet Domain Name

Berlin won the race to become the world’s first city with its own domain name.

Websites using the .berlin suffix are to debut March 18.

“Domains are descriptive, not just cryptic abbreviations like .org or .com,” dotBerlin representative Dirk Krischenowski told reporters.

The Local reported 55,000 websites showing interest in adding a .berlin address to their offerings.

American tech firm ICANN oversees and distributes domain names. It expanded options drastically from .com or .net to include suffixes like .food and .cars.

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To purchase a .berlin website will cost between $US50 and $US100, and sales are expected to generate nearly $US700,000 in the first year alone. Portions of the proceeds are returned to Berlin, The Local said.

“Berlin addresses can now be a trademark for our city and for companies based here,” said Nils Busch-Petersen, head of the Berlin-Brandenburg trade association.

Before the change, you only had 22 options for your website domain or “string.” As of Jan. 18, that expanded to 107, ICANN said.

An estimated 50 cities are set to follow Berlin’s lead soon. Vienna’s .wien is imminent and will be closely followed by Nagoya, Japan.

Paris, New York and Johannesburg are prepared for their launches while .London is to go live in April.

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