UK firms looking to extend their brand on the net, or those wishing to defensively register against cybersquatters, should watch out next Monday when landrush registrations for the .co domain open.
Previously the country code top level domain for Colombia, the domain has now been commercialised so that firms globally can take advantage of the extension, to reinforce associations with ideas of 'commerce', 'communities' or 'collaboration'.
The .tv ccTLD was similarly commercialised by the Pacific Islands of Tuvalu to provide an extension for firms looking to brand themselves in the television market.
Priority for .co was originally given in the application process for current holders of a com.co domain, before registrations were taken of trademark holders inside and outside of Colombia.
Now it's down to the landrush period, however, with registrations running from 21 June to 13 July and all applications to be submitted by 10 July. General availability follows, from 20 July.
Domain registrar Easyspace is offering pre-orders for interested users. It said the suffix could be especially relevant given "the continuing growth in social media use".
Of more interest to brand managers, however, might be its proximity to the ever popular '.com' suffix. This means typosquatters could be looking to snap up .co domains in order to monetise any mis-typed URLs which accidentally omit the final letter of a firm's .com address.
Once again, defensive registrations are likely to make up a large proportion of new applications to this domain.
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