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Status: Delegated
country: Cologne (Köln), Germany
Registry Provider: KNIPP
Registry: dotKoeln GmbH
Registry Backend: RyCE GmbH
Date Implemented: 19 March 2014
Type: GeoTLD
Registrations: 10,365
Parked Domains: 2,539
Parked Domain %: 24.5 %
Important Dates
Delegation: 19 March 2014
General Availability: 05 September 2014

More Information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.cologne is a delegated geographical TLD proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The manager and registry is NetCologne.[1] The proposed application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 19 March 2014.[2]

Application Details

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

"The mission of the proposed gTLD is two-fold. First and foremost, the new gTLD is aimed to benefit Cologne’s companies, communities and residents as well as the city itself. Secondly, based on how the business model is set out, the introduction of the gTLD is also supposed to supplement NetCologne GmbH’s (in the following “NetCologne”) daily business operations.

With regard to the city and its residents, the introduction of .cologne provides a new means for companies, communities and residents to express their local sense of belonging – especially in an international context. As Cologne is known for its strong local patriotism, it is very likely that the new gTLD will be embraced by the city’s interest groups, who will then have a means to express their identification with Cologne in the web space. However, the benefits for Cologne’s interest groups will be elaborated upon in my more detail in the answers to question 18b.

Yet, the purpose to host this respective gTLD goes beyond the mere provision of an additional Top Level Domain. When introducing a city TLD for local residents, companies and communities, the respective TLD must be safeguarded against any fraudulent behaviour. Therefore, NetCologne intends to make sure that only organisations, communities and private people with an eligible purpose can register their domain under a .cologne Top Level Domain, so that the city’s reputation sustains. As being a local company, NetCologne believes to be the ideal candidate for this purpose.

Apart from the primary interest to offer the city and its interest groups a local TLD, hosting .cologne will also strengthen NetCologne’s business operations. NetCologne, a regional telecommunications company, is planning to use the already established outreach to Cologne’s companies, communities and residents in order to promote .cologne in Cologne and the surrounding area. Thus, besides operating as a registry, NetCologne also intends to engage in reseller activities – of course while granting registrars the same conditions. . NetCologne’s activities as a reseller will be performed in full accordance with the requirements according to Specification 9 no. 2. NetCologne is currently already operating as a provider for various Top Level Domains, so .cologne will add to the already existing portfolio and potentially expand NetCologne’s domain business. Present customers will be able to order their preferred .cologne domain via their already trusted service provider while mere .cologne customers may potentially also turn into customers of NetCologne’s core business units – online and telephony services.

In order to consider the gTLD’s introduction as successful, NetCologne expects to operate 2,526 .cologne domains by the end of year 5 of registry operations. The forecast on registered .cologne domains is therefore as follows: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 1,362 2,013 2,261 2,399 2,526

This forecast includes the direct sales of domains to accredited registrars, but also the additional sales by NetCologne in combination with already existing Internet products, for example homepage services or webspace. Moreover, this calculation accounts for an annual termination rate of 2%.

The business case in question 46 “Projections Template” will further illustrate which revenues are expected from the registry business, i.e. including NetCologne’s registry and reseller activities. It must be noted that NetCologne intends to host the gTLD .cologne in combination with the gTLD .koeln, for which a separate application is submitted. One of the city council’s requirements was that an application for .koeln would have to be made in combination with an application for .cologne – in order to ensure an international presentation of the Internet brand Cologne. Thus, the domain sales forecast for .cologne and the resulting revenues are comparably low. However, considered in combination with .koeln the business model is highly profitable.

The eligibility requirements are as follows: - All information provided by the registrant is fulsome and true - The domain name registration does not infringe upon the rights of others (e.g. trademarks) - The registrant has a legitimate interest in the domain name - The registrant does not act in bad faith[.]"[3]

Contract Signed

On 05 February 2014 NetCologne received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .cologne after passing all the required processes needed to become a Registry Operator for the string.[4]

Delegation and Availability

.cologne was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on 19 March, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[2]