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Status: Delegated
country: Friesland, Netherlands
Registry Provider: Applicant-run Registry
Date Implemented: 30 August 2014
Type: Generic
Priority #: 818

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.frl is a delegated geographical TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The successful applicant is the Metaregistrar.[1] .frl was delegated to the Root Zone on the 30th August 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[2]


The name was applied for as a GeoTLD, which includes obtaining the respective government support, but ICANN deemed that the term in question does not in fact refer to a geographic area as defined by its standards. The ruling was made by the Geographic Names Panel, and has no necessarily overt, negative repercussions for the application.[3]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"The .FRL domain extension is targeted at Frisian people living in Friesland, Frisians living in other part of the Netherlands, and Frisians living abroad and wanting to identify themselves with the Frisian culture and heritage.

This means that the FRL top-level domain will serve the Frisians not only in the province (between 600.000 and 700.000 people), but also the Frisians that have moved into the rest of The Netherlands or abroad. Also, the northerns parts of Germany have a Frisian community that strongly identifies with the Frisians in The Netherlands. The general feeling is that people from Friesland will stay Frisian for their whole lives, and are very willing to identify themselves with anything coming from Friesland.

The Netherlands are populated with about 17.000.000 people, and the .NL registry holds almost 5.000.000 second-level domain names. If we extrapolate these numbers to the Frisian population, we can expect conservatively 100.000 second-level registrations, but 200.000 registrations would be very possible from the inhabitants of Friesland alone. And that is not counting the Frisians living in other parts of the Netherlands or Frisians living abroad. Add this to the fact that most Frisian names have 3 means of spelling: Dutch spelling, Frisian spelling without accents and Frisian spelling with accents, this all adds up to a very valid business case for a gTLD.

When enough Frisians adopt a .FRL domain name, this TLD will serve as glue between the Frisians living in Friesland and the Frisians living elsewhere, giving the people living abroad a means to visually identify themselves with the Frisian community in Friesland.

An additional benefit to using a .FRL tld is the use of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). The Frisian language contains many words that require special characters to be spelled correctly. For example, the government of Friesland is reachable under www.fryslan.nl, however the correct spelling would be fryslân.nl. Since SIDN has not rolled out IDN support yet, this domain name is not possible. With the use of new gTLDs, the province will be able to register the domain name fryslân.frl. We expect a boost in websites that feature the Frisian language, and many website owners wanting to register not only the IDN variant but also the variant without special characters, if only to be able to send and receive e-mail correctly.

The whois services of the FRL registry will adhere to the Dutch privacy laws. This means that for the public whois services only a limited amount of data will be shown. Any party having a legitimate right to all the whois information will be able to contact the registry and gain access to the private whois service. Connected registrars will also have access to the private whois service to enable them to execute the domain transfer policies correctly.

The web-based whois service will show more information than the publicly available port 43 whois, but will be protected with a captcha to prevent harvesting of data.

Registration of .FRL domain names will be open and unrestricted to any ICANN-accredited registrar. There are no intentions to restrict registration to people originating from Friesland only, because many Frisian people live in other parts of The Netherlands or Germany or have moved abroad. It is these people we want to give the chance of identifying with the Frisian community by registering a .FRL domain name.

As stated in the ICANN policies, all names like example.frl, www.frl, iris.frl, nic.frl and whois.frl will be reserved in the domain name system, as all the names of countries and territories that are specified in the ICANN newGtld documentation. Domain names with hyphens are allowed, but no two hyphens may be next to each other in a domain name. This way, domain names starting with xn—will not be accepted by the registry."[4]

Contract Signed

On the 15th May 2014, the Metaregistrar received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .frl after passing the Initial Evaluation.[5]


.frl was delegated to the Root Zone on the 30th August 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[6]