35/02 - German Institute for Telematics wants to be in charge of the ".eu" Internet domain - application in Brussels

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35/02 - German Institute for Telematics wants to be in charge of the '.eu' Internet domain - application in Brussels

Brussels/Trier. Germany's Top Internet Research and Development Centre, the Institute for Telematics e.V. in Trier (www.telematik-institut.org) is going to apply today (October 25) to be in charge of the new European .eu domain. As the Director of the Institute, Professor Christoph Meinel (48), indicated, the complete application papers are going to be submitted to the European Commission in Brussels today. According to the scientist his Institute has "a fair chance as an Outsider", since it is an fully independent and non-profit organisation and is conveniently located in the four-countries region of Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France where close, direct contacts with the interested parties are concerned. Also the highly qualified staff and its own Trust Centre, which acts as a so-called "electronic notary", encouraged the Trier Institute to make this application. It is not known whether there are other German candidates for the so-called "Registry".

Prof. Christoph Meinel pointed out that administration of the Top Level Domain (TLD) registry does not refer to commercial dealings with the end customers who wish to have an Internet domain ending with .eu. This is dealt with individually by the providers of the registration services in each member country. The European Commission is rather seeking a non-commercial organisation, which would co-operate in setting the rational, basic registration rules and to organise, administer and manage the .eu TLD. The objective is to prevent, for example, "speculative and abusive" registration of .eu domains. It would also deal with out-of-court settlements and regulations concerning revocation of the domain registration. Finally, close co-operation with the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the federal, world-wide Internet administration agency in the US, should be pursued.

The computer science specialist also stated that "The Institute for Telematics is surely aware of the accompanying risks." The Commission wants to conclude, in the first instance, a five-year contract which would, among other things, regulate the financial obligations and would guarantee the European Commission a clear, individual involvement. Prof. Christoph Meinel stated that the submitted Business Plan still comprises "a calculation with several unknowns." Details should be clarified in the course of forthcoming negotiations.

The objective of the Top Level Domain .eu, which will be reserved exclusively for the citizens and enterprises of the EU member countries, is to counterbalance the American Internet-based marketing advantage. Globally, there is a predominance of the famous "dot-COM" domains, for instance, which are used by a majority of American companies and organisations to present themselves on the World Wide Web. In contrast, the EU enterprises could not until now appear under an European Top Level Domain that would be common for all EU member countries.