Another TLD Landrush

Way back in 2000 Telnic proposed an interesting new Top Level Domain (TLD) .tel to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It took them six years of fooling around with the idea and in 2006 they finally approved the proposal. Its taken another two years to get the idea to the market. Boy, the internet moves at such a rapid pace!

If you hold a trademarked name you can start sunrise registration for your own .tel TLD on December 3, 2008. Other registrations for non-trademarked names will follow in February. See the schedule here.

What is a .tel TLD?

A .tel TLD is an interesting use of the internet technology in that it actually is all stored in the DNS and there is no associated website. The service currently allows for the storage for five data types:

  1. Contact details (Telephone, Mobile, Email, VoIP, Fax etc.)
  2. Content Links (HTTP, FTP, Corporate websites, Blogs etc.)
  3. Navigation Links (Offices, Brands, Products etc.)
  4. Geo-location information (Maps, Addresses etc.)
  5. Indexable Text (Keywords, Highlights, PR etc.)

How can I use it?

If you think about it, you will probably come up with a million new ways to use the capability. We like the idea that there is no underlying infrastructure other than a data entry facility. Consider it a minimalistic website, a tiny website—a TWEB if you like. Telnic has some sample layouts here.

We can already see applications such as Outlook, LinkedIn, Plaxo and others finally able to do real time updates of contact details without a huge amount of effort on anyone’s part.

A caution

You can also get a personal .tel TLD but caveat emptor. If have any concerns about your personal information being public you really ought to research this quite closely. If you don’t want telemarketers, spammers and other trolls to contact you, consider what this will do for them when they can bulk download every .tel site?

We would suspect, though we have not read this, that someone will figure out a way for permissions so that you might be able control who has access to your data—much like what has been done for other TLDs. See update in the comment below from Justin at Telnic regarding privacy issues.

You can see the the beta Shulist Group TWEB here.

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  1. Justin Hayward:

    There’s no need to suspect anything - an individual has complete control over who sees what information through the ability to encrypt the contact information in the DNS and allocate who can see it through a friending mechanism. Further information is available on our developer website here:

    Therefore, a .tel domain provides even more protection from spammers whilst being able to share your contact information dynamically with whomever you want, reactively or proactively.


    Justin Hayward

    Thanks for that update Justin. Perhaps that page should be more prominent on your website? Most interested parties would not think of drilling down the “developer’ path. –>ed

  2. Justin Hayward:

    It is the second point on the .tel for individuals information on the front page of our website - the link explains how that is possible and achieved. Sorry if I wasn’t clear in the first post.



  3. .tel? Do Tell | Shulist Group Inc.:

    [...] might recall from prior scribblings here we fiddled about with a new TLD that holds out hope to create a global address [...]

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