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300,000 Register New ".eu" Domain Names During First Hour


By Derek Iwasiuk
April 07, 2006

Some 300,000 Europeans rushed to register their new ".eu" Internet domain names in the first hour of being able to sign up to the new Web site addresses, European Union officials said Friday.

Registrations for the new domain name opened up to those who reside in the 25-nation EU on a first-come, first served basis, the European Commission said.

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding said the Commission hopes the new ".eu" name will one day rival the ".com" name.

"Europe and its citizens can now project their own Web identity, protected by EU rules," she said, adding that 300,000 people registered within the first hour of registration on Friday morning. Most were from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium, she said.

All EU institutions, including the Commission, European Parliament and the EU's general Web site will switch to the ".eu" name on May 9, Europe day, Reding said.

The European Registry of Internet Domain Names, or EURid, the nonprofit organization in charge of handling the requests reported at midday, over 550,000 domain names had been registered.

Businesses and public bodies have been able to sign up for the new European Union Internet address since December. Reding said 320,000 such sites were filed.

Until now, Europeans had to choose between a national domain such as ".fr" for France or a global one like ".com," often seen as American.

Officials from the EU small business lobby UEAPME, said the ".eu" name could be useful for European companies.

EU officials urged consumers to be cautious over registration charges. They said they found total fees for as little as euro12 (U.S. $14.77) for signing up a new domain name.

"There are hundreds of registrars competing to register names, so customers should shop around for the best deal on price, quality and services offered," the Commission said.

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