- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 11:54
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Council member Geke van Velzen had put forward a plan to acquire the top level domain and offer free web space and email addresses to every resident and businesses in the city.
Instead the city council decided to consider options to outsource the domain name to the private sector, reducing the potential cost to the council.
The council has identified a potential commercial partner for the venture, but declined to disclose its name on the grounds of confidentiality.
The top level web domain (TLD) is the final element in an internet address. Originally they denoted the nature of a web page, such as .com for business or .edu for the educational sector, or its country of origin, such as .nl or .be.
As the internet has expanded extra TLDs have been released, such as the recent .xxx domain which is reserved for adult websites.
Buying the .amsterdam TLD from the international Icann would have cost the council about €4 million, an investment that would have taken several years to recoup.
The city council also expressed concern that TLDs registered with Icann fall under American jurisdiction, overriding Dutch privacy laws and leaving Amsterdam-based companies open to being sued in the US courts.
Anyone setting up a business with a .amsterdam domain would be subject to the US Patriot Act, which empowers American justice officials to take down websites that they disapprove of.
Unifiedroot, a competitor to Icann based in Amsterdam, had offered to provide the .amsterdam domain name for €1, but the council rejected this proposal because it could not guarantee 100% internet cover.
Erik Seeboldt, director of Unifiedroot, said he was disappointed by the council’s decision: “We offered, as an Amsterdam-based company, to offer the .amsterdam name to the city for free.
“The commercial partner that has now taken the council by the hand wants to earn money from it. Registering domains with Icann is an expensive business.
“In the end it is the citizen who pays. Moreover, Amsterdam will lose control of its own domain.”