.london calling, says promotion agency

The capital is set to get its very own top-level domain. Pricey - but the city's in good company.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012
Now, MT thought it knew just about everything about the fair city near which it resides (technically, our offices are in Middlesex. Just a short 20-minute-walk-followed-by-40-minute-train-journey from Waterloo! Oh alright, we may as well be in Swindon), but it didn’t know this: apparently, London has its own official promotion agency. London & Partners, it’s called – and the agency has come up with the rather neat idea of applying for a ‘top-level’ web domain for the city. So from January onwards, website addresses for London-based businesses could end with .london, rather than boring old .com. Natty, eh?

Apparently, London & Partners is currently ‘identifying the potential benefits and business models’ of registering a .london domain (other than, obviously, your users being able to identify where you’re based. Which is useful in itself). And fair enough: at £114,000 an application, followed by a £15,000 a year annual fee, it requires careful consideration – especially if the money comes out of the public purse. At least we’re in good company: New York, Paris, Sydney, Rome and Berlin are apparently also all considering putting in an application.

Naturally, our exalted leader is keen on the idea: in fact, you might go as far as to say that Mayor Boris Johnson is rather technologically inclined. After all, having last year lined the streets with these new-fangled contraptions called ‘bicycles’, he’s just overseen the introduction of live information about buses on a dedicated website – and he apparently sees the idea of a London-specific domain as a ‘potential opportunity to build on London’s position as a global centre for digital innovation’. So there you go.

Applications for the top-level domains open in January, and have to be submitted by April 2012, after which there will be a consultation period that will last up to 20 months. That’s quite a wait, but we’ve no doubt BoJo will remain keen. After all, when a man is tired of (waiting for) .london, he’s tired of .life.

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