18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.koelnNetCologne Gesellschaft für Telekommunikation mbHnetcologne.deView

1. Beneficiaries and benefits from the introduction of .koeln

The beneficiaries from the new gTLD .koeln are three groups: the domain users, i.e. companies, communities and private people, the city itself and the engaged registrars.

1.1 Domain users: companies, communities and private people

The benefits for the local companies, communities and private people have been touched upon in the previous section (18a). Their main benefit therefore is the possibility to adopt a city- own TLD and thus express a local sense of belonging. This becomes increasingly important as the proportion of regional searches in the Internet is constantly growing. Moreover, a study from the Association of the German Internet Economy (Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft “eco”) has shown that there is a high degree of interest and acceptance within the German population for new TLDs with a regional character. This should hold especially true for the people living in Cologne, as they are known for their strong local patriotism. Therefore, the introduction of an own city TLD seems appropriate and promising in Cologne.

In addition, these interest groups will be provided with the opportunity to register a particular domain that might not be available anymore under the currently existing TLDs. As the current domain space is very limited, many interested parties do not have the opportunity to register their preferred domain. Especially, local communities, private people and small to medium sized businesses are likely to be in this situation. The introduction of .koeln will therefore mitigate this problem.

Moreover, especially companies and communities will be able to use .koeln as a means for branding and differentiation, as being present in the web under a gTLD will be considered as highly innovative within the next upcoming years. Therefore, companies and communities will receive the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors.
In addition to the above mentioned, the agreement with Cologne’s city council allows for the provision of domains under .koeln at no charge for non-profit organisations and associations. Thus, non-profit organisations and associations will be able to have a web presence with a local character at no expense.

1.2 The City: Cologne

Besides the benefits for domain users as listed above, the city, Cologne, will also gain from the introduction of its own TLD. The mere fact of having an own TLD will give Cologne a clear standing as a metropolis that is proud to present itself in the web. Throughout Germany geographic TLDs in general and city TLDs in particular will be considered as highly innovative within the next years due to the fact that very few cities are planning to introduce their own TLD. Therefore, the introduction of .koeln will provide Cologne with a clear source of differentiation. More importantly, .koeln will strengthen the brand Cologne as an Internet brand in a national and potentially in an international context. Thereby, Cologne can strengthen and boost its economic region. Especially with regard to tourism .koeln is likely to generate positive effects. Moreover, the city council will highly benefit from the new Internet address, under which city relevant institutions, such as the city council itself, can present themselves and their respective services in a modern e-government environment.

1.3 Registrars:

Lastly, the registrars, on whose cooperation the TLD’s final success depends, will highly benefit from the introduction. Today, Cologne has the second most members of registered .de domains in Germany (based on a comparison between German cities) and a very steady registration growth. This translates into a great revenue potential for registrars. Firstly, because potentially even more people that did not own a domain before become interested in registering their own domain under this very special TLD. Secondly, companies, communities or private people are very likely to wish to register their website under .koeln, in addition to their already existing TLD. Lastly, many interested parties that might have been interested in registering their domain could not do so in the past due to availability issues. However, these will now have the opportunity to register their preferred domain under the new TLD .koeln. Thus, there is a great market potential that will provide registrars with acquisition and cross-selling opportunities.

NetCologne GmbH (in the following “NetCologne”) has already been in contact with well-known registrars on the German market who have already shown an interest in the .koeln TLD. NetCologne’s pricing strategy towards registrars was discussed in collaboration with registrars. Aim is to generate a high market penetration with .koeln domain. Thus, already established registrars engaged in discussions at which price a high market penetration could be achieved.

2. Goals of introducing .koeln:

The expected goals from the introduction of .koeln can be summarised from the above mentioned with the following:
- Establishment of a sustainable and relevant competitive advantage for Cologne with regard to location marketing
- Provision of a new and highly differentiated means of presentation on the Internet for the city itself, and its companies, communities and residents
- Provision of a new means of self-awareness and self-confidence for the entire region around Cologne
- Constitution of the Internet brand .koeln

3. .koeln communications plan

In terms of communication, an image campaign has started to be set up which aims to spread the word regarding the availability of the new TLD .koeln. This campaign pursues the following goals:
- To advertise the TLD .koeln towards Cologne’s residents, companies and communities
- To point out the benefits gained from the introduction of .koeln
- To mobilise supporters that can transport the campaign and its messages to the relevant target audience
- To position the Internet brand .koeln as an information tool about Cologne in a regional, national and international context
- To promote the Internet brand .koeln as an easy, but effective means of location marketing
- To generate a pull effect for .koeln domains

The campaign will be targeted towards the following groups:
- Supporters (companies, organisations, initiatives)
- Companies, communities and institutions
- Industry associations
- The city Cologne (city council, public institutions, tourism)
- Cologne’s residents
- Opinion leaders (celebrities, opinion leaders from science, politics, culture)
- Tourists
- The media

The campaign logo includes visual elements associated with Cologne, such as Cologne’s typical city colours (red, white) as well as the symbol of Cologne’s cathedral. Moreover, the visual prominently depicts the “dot”, representing the modern Internet and its possibilities. At the core of each visual there will be people from Cologne, demonstrating their sense of belonging and their commitment to the new domain .koeln.

The campaign’s underlying message is that .koeln is for everybody in Cologne and the surrounding area: the bakery around the corner, the student, the carpenter or the car manufacturing company. Anybody who feels a sense of belonging to Cologne is granted the opportunity to express this in one of the most important media vehicles the Internet. This message will be customized for the respective target groups. This means that a message towards, for example, companies will stress the competitive advantage that can be gained, while a message towards the city will focus on better communication with Cologne’s citizens.

The campaign includes above-the-line, as well as below-the-line marketing activities which are steered via a local advertising agency. The media vehicles which will be used include:
- Social Media
- Website “koeln.de”; “koelner-fuer-koeln.de”
- Billboards
- Press
- Testimonials
- Promotions
- Events
- Merchandising
- Digital Cologne Register

This comprehensive media coverage guarantees a huge outreach and a high level of awareness. A detailed communications plan including specific phases per media vehicle has already been set up in collaboration with the advertising agency.

4. .koeln Registration Policies

The information laid out below can also be found in the answers to question 27, 28 and 29.
Registrants wishing to register a .koeln domain will need to do so via an accredited registrar. This registrar will redirect the enquiry towards NetCologne and NetCologne will if all eligibility requirements are met transfer the domain into the zone name system. The registrar or a respective provider will serve as the point of contact over the course of the registrant’s registration lifecycle.

The eligibility requirements are as follows:
- All information provided by the registrant is fulsome and true
- The domain name registration does not infringe upon the rights of others (e.g. trademarks)
- The registrant has a legitimate interest in the domain name
- The registrant does not act in bad faith

The latter two aspects may not become evident during the registration process. However, in connection with abuse prevention procedures registrars will be asked to react to any complaints arising with regard to rights infringement, lack of legitimate interest and registrations made in bad faith.

Moreover, registrants will only be able to register a particular domain name, if:
- The name has not yet been registered
- The name is not reserved or blocked
- The name fulfils the technical and lexical requirements, i.e. German text

As indicated, NetCologne has decided to reserve and block specific terms and names from domain name registration. The decision to reserve certain names at the second level was made in order to protect especially the city’s rights. As will further be laid out in the answer to question 22, NetCologne therefore has granted the city the opportunity to reserve various names at the second level. These include
- Names of relevant authorities
- Generic terms with relevance for the city
- Names of municipal organisations and holdings
- Urban districts
- Fractions of the city council
- Chambers

The respective names were thoroughly compiled by the city’s representatives. By reserving these names at the second level, NetCologne makes sure that the city’s rights are protected from fraudulent behaviour.

Moreover, as laid out above, NetCologne as a local company intends to protect .koeln from fraudulent registrations and abusive behaviour. Thus, in order to prevent from domain name registrations which are defamatory, racist or in breach of public law, the city council was granted the opportunity to compile a list of names and terms which will be blocked. The compilation of blocked names was conducted by the city council itself, the respective list was bound to the provision of the letter of support. These names and terms will not be available for registration over the entire registry lifespan, i.e. at least for ten years. If however a domain name happens to be registered which is defamatory, racist or in breach of public law a specified process will set in and the respective name will be added to the existing list of blocked names. This process will be laid out in the answer to question 28.

Besides the security measures as pointed out above, NetCologne will ensure that the registrant’s privacy and confidential information is protected. Thus, NetCologne will merely gather, process and use registrant’s data in accordance with data protection regulations. NetCologne is already governed by the Federal Data Protection Act (in German: Bundesdatenschutzgesetz). Since operating in the telecommunications sector, the company is additionally subject to the Telecommunications Act (in German: Telekommunikationsgesetz, TKG) as well as the German Teleservices Act (in German: Telemediengesetz). In addition to the Federal Data Protection Act, the latter two very strictly regulate the handling and use of customer data. Therefore, NetCologne’s registrants’ data will be highly protected.

Similar gTLD applications: (1)

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixzDetail
.cologneNetCologne Gesellschaft für Telekommunikation mbHnetcologne.deCompare