The .eu domain name comes into force on December 7, 2005, with the European Union predicting a last-minute surge of applications for registration.
I expect a real rush, several hundred thousand in the first few days, said EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding. European companies should waste no time and register for the new ‘.eu’ domain name.
The domain is intended to promote European identity and create greater visibility for pan-European e-commerce. Currently, businesses use domains for individual countries, such as .co.uk or a global one like .com.
Registration for .eu names begins on December 7 at 10am GMT, and such names can be used immediately. For the first two months, only certain rights holders such as registered trademark owners, public bodies and companies can register.
It will be next February before .eu is opened up to family names. General registration begins in April on a first-come, first-served basis.
The .eu domain name will be run by EURid, a private European nonprofit group. About 750 licensed resellers will accept registrations on EURid’s behalf.
Registrations are limited to people who live in the EU and to companies with headquarters or branches inside the 25-nation bloc.
Prices are expected to range from E80 to E140 during the sunrise periods. They should drop to E25 to E30 once regular registration begins.