First Results of the General Availability Start for the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА TLDs
1 December 2014 12:00 (noon) MSK the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА top-level domains have entered the General Availability period (GA) – at the moment names’ registration in the strings is available to anyone on a first-come first-served basis without any restrictions.
By 9:00 AM MSK 2 December about 11,5 thousand .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА names were registered within GA. Total number of registrations for the Moscow City TLDs at the moment is more than 15,000, by the end of 2014 this amount will reach 20-25 thousand.
“We have 15 registrars accredited for the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА extensions, four of them are Russian companies,” says Dmitry Burkov, FAITID Board Chairman. “By the end of the year several more registrars will start to offer Russia’s capital TLDs to their customers and in 2015 the number of accredited companies can be doubled.”
Today the largest registrar for the Moscow strings is RU-CENTER that manages about 80% of all .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА names. “In 2010 our company started the project for the Russia’s capital domain extensions’ implementation,” says Andrey Vorobyev, RU-CENTER Head of PR & GR. “We actively promote .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА and this resulted for us in a leading position on the names’ registration market for the Moscow City TLDs.”
So far RU-CENTER has registered a number of names for famous global (Gucci, McDonalds, Rolex etc.) and Russian brands as well as various premium domains (Cinema.moscow, Pizza.moscow etc.).
Sergey Plugotarenko, Directror of the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC) says: “As a host for the main Russian autumn IT event – Russian Interactive Week – we decided to choose for its official website the Riw.moscow domain name. Initially we were a bit nervous whether users will positively accept the domain, but in the long run it became a brand for the event. We consider in the coming years new gTLDs will be the main driver for the domain name market growth.”
Moscow strings' popularity should grow with the start of their usage by the Russia’s Capital City Government and by the country’s federal authorities for the city-related websites (about 3 thousand names were reserved by FAITID for the respective needs). Today domains like Mayor.moscow and Government.moscow direct users to the Moscow government websites.
The state contract for .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА names registration for the city needs was won by the Webnames.ru registrar. The winner was selected in a public competition organized by the Department of Information Technology of Moscow. All applications received within the competition were evaluated by a number of criteria: proposed registration fee, quality features, registrar qualification, experience and reputation. “This is the first case in Russia when the government uses such a procedure for domain names’ registration,” says Fedor Smirnov, Webnames.ru Head of PR & Marketing. “Cooperation with the government requires new approaches to accuracy, coherency, efficiency and standards’ following. We’ve already got first applications for the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА domain names from the government. The contract to be completed in a year – in November 2015.”
The .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА domains will be shortly registered for the key Russia’s capital symbols. For example, recently Moscow zoo has got its domain name in Cyrilllic. For the participation in the Moscow City extensions’ promotion the zoo has been awarded with a special diploma of Runet Awards.
Business has started to use .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА names as well. A website for Metropolis, a Moscow popular trade center, is placed at Metropolis.moscow, while an app for travellers Cheaptrip.Index can be downloaded at Cheaptrip.moscow.
“The .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА TLDs will be equally demanded by businesses and average users,” says Alexey Korolyuk, Director General of the REG.RU registrar. “According to the numbers demonstrated by the Moscow City strings at the GA start we can expect more than 350 thousand registrations in the extensions in the coming years.”
Pavel Gross, a Russian domainer, says .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА have strong potential for the aftermarket. This will likely lead to a situation when most valuable names in the Russia’s capital TLDs will be shortly taken, so it’s worth for registrants who would like to get them to hurry up with their registration.