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Type: Private
Industry: Registrar
Founded: England, 2000
Headquarters: 37 Percy Street,
London W1T 2DJ England
Country: UK
Employees: 12 (2009)
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@TelNicLimited
Key People
Khashayar Mahdavi, Chief Executive Officer

Henri Asseily, Chief Strategist & CTO
Justin Hayward, Communications Director
Ian Bowen-Morris, Director of Marketing
Lawrence Conroy, Technical Guru
Vladimir Shadrunov, Director of Policy
Adrian Snell, Director of Registrars
Gareth Jehu, Director of Operations
Huw Stead, Engineering Director
Fiona McKeown, CFO

TelNic is a Registry Operator and Sponsoring Organization for the .tel sponsored top level domain (sTLD) based in the UK.[1] TelNic was founded in 2000, launched .tel to the general public on March 24th, 2009, and has since registered over 275,000 .tel names.[2] Some industry experts predicted a huge number of purchases of .tel domains by the year 2013.[3] As of early 2012, there were 256,566 registered .tel domains.[4]

TelNic provides service that allows embedding contact information in an internet address book known as a DNS server. Thus, companies and individuals can create a virtual vCard or contact directory that enables users to easily and instantly "click to connect" via their preferred device.[5] It doesn’t host web sites but links the domain names directly with contact information stored in the system.[6]

TelNic’s backend registry services are provided by NeuStar.[7]


  • In 2000, Telnic is founded and collaborates with strategic partners and service providers to develop a proof-of-concept.
  • It applies for the .tel in the first round of TLD applications, in October 2000, but is not successful. However, ICANN encourages Telnic to re-submit in the following round after building a proof-of-concept. Telnic finally re-submits its modified application to ICANN for the .tel sTLD in March, 2004. In May, 2006, Telnic’s application is successful and ICANN signs a formal agreement authorizing Telnic to operate the .tel sTLD.
  • In 2006, development begins on open source mobile and desktop client applications. Key agreements with strategic partner NeuStar, and Sunrise Validation Agent Deloitte, are signed in 2007. The same year, Telnic campaigns for better protection of privacy for individuals in Whois.
  • In March 2009, the first .tel domains go live. General availability opens on March 24th, 2009.
  • In September, 2009, TelNic launches TelAds advertising platform to store and display sponsored weblinks, sponsored telephone numbers, and related content on their .tel domains to both monetize and enhance the discovery of them through search engines. Telnic announces backup and restore features for .tel domains using new functionality built in to the web control panel in October, 2009. [8].
  • As of January 2010, 300,000 .tel domains have been registered. Since June 2010, all .tel names support OpenID.

Features of .tel

.tel names are not used as traditional websites and do not require traditional web development work. Rather, they are designed to consolidate contact information under one simple name such as ""


  • Integration of multiple means of communication (i.e. Phone numbers, IM, VOIP, email, social media), location records, and keywords.
  • Real-time publishing of contact information on the internet.
  • Ownership and protection of published data.

Approval of .tel Domain by ICANN

TelNic received a ten-year contract with ICANN; the fee paid by Telnic to ICANN will be measured by the number of .tel registrations and on the wholesale registration price. [9]

According to Justin Hayward, TelNic's communications director, by that time the startup has spent about $15 million on the years of engineering needed to perfect the technology.[10] He also commented that "It is a bit like an interactive business card on the Web that you can change and give to anyone so they can reach you."

TelNic Goes Live

After being approved by ICANN, TelNic launched the new .tel platform that will not require a website and is optimized for mobile delivery with even less code than a small-screen-formatted site on December 3rd, 2008.[11]. During its Sunrise Period, domains were made available only to trademark owners in an effort to protect trademarks and coroporate identities.[12][13]

During the Landrush Period, beginning February 3rd 2009, anyone could buy a .tel domain for individual or professional use. It was organized on a first come first serve basis.[14] The company commented about selling about 10 thousand domains during the rush period.[15].

Finally, in March 2009, the first .tel domains go live in the DNS.[16]. On this occassion, Henri Asseily, CTO and Chief Strategist at Telnic said "We're delighted to be delivering something that will push the boundaries of communications and the internet to the next level, putting the power back into the hands of the individual when it comes to using and sharing contact information".

General Availability has opened up since March 24th, 2009.

Examples of .tel Sites

As examples of live sites, Telnic has built live case studies i.e.:

  • demonstrates how a large company can use the .tel.
  • demonstrates how a small company can use the .tel.
  • demonstrates how a business could sell placement within a worldwide directory.
  • demonstrates how a fan club could use the .tel to drive traffic to both web-based and mobile revenue centers.
  • demonstrates how a company using a voting mechanism (like American Idol or Star Academy) could use the .tel.[17]


External links