The primary launch phase of the European Broadcasting Union’s top-level “.radio” domain registrations draws to a close on Oct. 31, making way for the worldwide general availability segment, which begins on Nov. 15. Radio World spoke to EBU Radio TLD Manager Alain Artero regarding the application process.
Radio World: What is .radio?
Alain Artero: I am sure you are familiar with the .com .org .net internet extensions, now EBU is launching the new top level domain .radio with the support of all main radio organizations worldwide. This extension is strictly reserved for the radio community (broadcast radio stations, internet radios, radio-related companies, radio professionals and radio amateurs). The radio-specific domain will provide a safe place on the internet, without cybersquatting. The domain will allow registrants to benefit from websites addresses featuring names such as www.myradiostation.radio or www.greatpodcasts.radio. And email addresses similar to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
RW: How can those interested register a .radio domain?
Artero: To register for a .radio domain, one needs to have strong link to the radio industry and choose a domain name that clearly represents his or her name, brand, radio channel or radio product. Therefore, one cannot register a domain name matching the name of their competitor! This rule aims to preserve .radio from cybersquatting and speculators. If the potential registrant meets eligibility criteria, he or she will then be required to select the appropriate category during the application process. Categories include: broadcast radio stations, internet radios, radio-related companies, “landrush,” radio professionals and radio amateurs. Landrush is a miscellaneous category, particularly suited to radio programs and products destined for use at radio stations.
RW: Approximately how many domains do you expect to be issued?
Artero: We expect to register several thousand domains by the end of the year. We have already received some great high-profile applications and we think that in 2018 awareness of the domain and registrations will increase greatly.
RW: Where can I register a .radio domain?
Artero: To register a .radio domain, those interested should visit any .radio accredited registrar website or go to www.register.radio. The list of registrars accredited to sell .radio domains is available at www.nic.radio/registrars.
RW: Is it possible for individuals to obtain a domain?
Artero: Yes. And in fact, .radio domains for individuals are cheaper (approximately US$30). However, they are subject to specific format rules. There are two cases. For the radio professional (owner, host, operator, DJ, radio journalist), the domain must contain the partial or full first name of the registrant and the last name followed by the .radio extension: Firstname-lastname.radio, e.g. john-smith.radio; FirstLetterOfFirstname-lastname.radio, e.g. j-smith.radio; FirstLetterOfFirstnameLastname.radio, e.g. jsmith.radio; and LastnameFirstLetterOfFirstname.radio, e.g. smithj.radio.
For radio-amateurs, the domain should match the registrant’s “call sign” followed by the .radio extension: RadioAmateurCallsign.radio e.g. JY5IG.radio.
RW: Are there .radio users starting to show up publicly? Who are among the pioneers?
Artero: Quite a few entities participated in our Pioneers Program. Among those who already have live .radio URLs are wwbr.radio, victory.radio, deep.radio, player.radio, zzrock.radio, motorsport.radio, next.radio, hit.radio and lesindes.radio.
RW: Why do prices vary on different registrars’ websites? And, why is a .radio domain more expensive than .com?
Artero: Prices are defined by each registrar, depending on their marketing strategy and on any extra services (hosting, security certificates, mailing services) they may provide. There are specific costs involved in managing a top level domain community such as .radio. This is because the EBU, as well as all other endorsing radio unions, have developed the framework for .radio, taking into consideration the specific radio community and the relevant content that will populate it. In doing so, the EBU is actively protecting radio professionals to ensure names and content are genuine. However, this comes at a cost to the registry operator. We are working to reach out to the entire world of radio to ensure we make the appropriate choices for all radio-related content on the Internet.
RW: I have already applied for a .radio domain, when will it be available?
Artero: The launch is not a first come first served period. The EBU (the .radio registry) will validate all applications. All authorized applications will be converted in .radio domains in November. During this period, broadcast radio stations will be prioritized over other categories. If the same domain name is requested by different entities, priorities of each category will be applied (see www.nic.radio for details). If the contention is still not solved, the EBU will offer mediation to find a solution.
RW: Will the domain support characters of non-Latin origin, such as Cyrillic or Chinese?
Artero: Yes, .radio is compliant with characters from many languages, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, German and more.
RW: When does general availability begin? And what will change during this phase?
Artero: General availability begins mid November. During this period, prices will remain unchanged at the registration level. Two categories will be available at this time — “standard” and “individual.” The standard category is intended for broadcast radio stations, internet radios, radio-related companies, radio programs and radio products. The individual category will comprise radio professionals and radio amateurs. The format for individual applicants will remain the same as stated above and we will continue to adhere strictly to eligibility rules. During the general availability phase, the first come, first served principle will apply, and registrations will be turned into domains in real time.