London Gets Its Own Internet Domain

London will shortly be one of Europe’s first cities to get its own top level domain after .london was approved by the Internet’s naming body.

.London top level domain should be available from next spring. | Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Dot London & Partners, a government-funded promotional group that will operate the .london domain name, said on Friday that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, (ICANN), had given .london the go-ahead. London-based businesses can apply for addresses ending in .london from spring 2014 and the addresses will go live in summer, it said.

London & Partners said tens of thousands of businesses have expressed an interest in .london including property company ShaftesburySHB.LN -0.42% PLC, which owns Carnaby Street, a central London pedestrian zone famous for fashion stores.

“London is an incredibly strong brand in retail, fashion and lifestyle, so Carnaby is delighted to be able to promote its geographical and cultural identity across the Internet in this way,” Shaftesbury’s head of marketing and communication Claire Harris said.

New York has already had .nyc approved and applications for Paris, Berlin and Vienna are pending.

ICANN started the process of rolling out the new top level domains last month when four new non-Latin script domains were approved.

In all some 1,200 gTLDs are expected to be approved — a dramatic increase from the existing 280, 248 of which are country codes like .fr, .ee or .pl. Applications include .app, .home, .inc, .gay and .news. Even the Vatican, through the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, has applied for a top level domain, .catholic, as well as the same word in Arabic, Cyrillic and Chinese.

– The Wall Street Journal