Dot-biz domain delayed again

New Internet suffix on hold for fear of hardware problems

Dot-biz is delayed again, for second time in 3 weeks

October 19, 2001|By Andrew Ratner | Andrew Ratner,SUN STAFF

The next generation of Internet addresses has stumbled from the starting gate.

Dot-biz, a new suffix for business Web sites, was delayed this week for the second time in less than a month.

NeuLevel Inc., the Northern Virginia company administering the new suffix, said it needed more time to avoid the hardware problems that temporarily halted the rollout of another new Internet domain name, dot-info, earlier this month.

NeuLevel announced that it is pushing back the start of dot-biz to Nov. 7 from Oct. 23. It originally planned to launch Oct. 1 but felt that many potential customers were unprepared to sign up so soon after last month's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, a California Superior Court judge in Los Angeles ordered NeuLevel last week not to activate about 50,000 dot-biz addresses because multiple applicants had conflicting claims to the names.

NeuLevel and Afilias, the Irish company in charge of the dot-info name, both say they have been pleased with the early response to the new domains, also called "top-level domains."

NeuLevel said it has received 2.4 million applications for domain names - more than it expected to have at this point.

Afilias reported 450,000 registrations for dot-info names. Among its new clients is the automaker Subaru, which registered a dot-info name for a new sports car, the WRX, because someone else held claim to the dot-com name.

"We expected some bumps in the road, but we're going full steam ahead now," said Heather Carle, spokeswoman for Afilias' U.S. base in suburban Philadelphia.

Because dot-info has encountered "so many issues and problems, a lot of registrars have told us they didn't want to experience that scenario," said Douglas B. Armentrout, chief executive officer of NeuLevel, explaining his company's delay.

The two companies were awarded exclusive rights to market the new addresses by ICANN, the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

The Clinton administration established ICANN to replace the Department of Defense as overseer for the Internet, as the medium turned from research and emergency communications into a commercial vehicle.

Dot-biz and dot-info are the first new domains since dot-com, dot-org, dot-net and a few others were created in the mid-1980s to accommodate popular use of the computer network.

ICANN is preparing to add dot-museum, a specialty address for museums, and dot-name, for personalized Web pages.

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