Swiss companies, as well as public and private organisations, can now apply for a domain name ending in “.swiss”.
On Tuesday, Swiss communications minister Doris Leuthard announced that the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) was accepting applications for domain names with the new ending.
“It is a trusted platform that establishes unequivocally the link with Switzerland,” said Leuthard, noting that the new domain is not mandatory if organisations wish to keep the “.ch” status quo.
OFCOM Director Philipp Metzger called the move a “revolution”.
“Until now, in Swiss cyberspace, we have had the extension '.ch' for the country, which we all use. But there has never been anything like '.swiss'. It’s only the second time we’ve opened a domain specifically for Switzerland.”
Until November 9, OFCOM will only consider applications from public and private organisations for trademarks registered with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), names related to Swiss public authorities or for other distinctive signs, such as Swiss company names.
After January 11, 2016, the application process will open to all public or private organisations with headquarters and a physical administrative presence in Switzerland.
Following evaluation by OFCOM, requests will be published for 20 days to allow responses or competing applications to be submitted. OFCOM will begin announcing newly assigned domain names in December 2015.
If applications are received for the same name, the domain will be awarded to the applicant providing the “best value to all or part of the Swiss community”, according to a statement issued by parliament.
swissinfo.ch and agencies