18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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The mission of the proposed “.amsterdamʺ TLD is to provide the community, stakeholders of and visitors to the City of Amsterdam with a TLD that will be the new address of the ʺdigital cityʺ, reflecting their bond with the City and its values. The TLD will provide a virtual space in which digital communication and connections are stimulated and business can increasingly flourish: interest groups, institutions, communities, individuals and corporations are stimulated to adopt the new TLD as a valuable tool for business, communication or expression, but also as a means to express their connection to the City in the broadest sense of the word. The international brand awareness and recognizability and uniform spelling of the name of the City will contribute significantly to the adoption and use of this TLD.
The new ʺ.amsterdamʺ TLD aims to provide the stakeholders of the City of Amsterdam with an address that is both recognizable as having a link to the City, while being ‘personal’ as well. Being used as a part of Amsterdamʹs branding strategy, a geographic TLD like .amsterdam is expected to create and support the local identity for enterprises, institutions, and individuals and with the aim to result in a stronger sense of community. It is planned that Amsterdam’s marketing strategy and the creation of a maximum branding value will be substantially supported by communication activities on domain names such as http:⁄⁄visit.amsterdam, to name but one example. The introduction and the ‘maintenance’ of the branding of the TLD will be supported by the City’s Marketing department, which has invested significantly in the branding of the City over the past eight years. The Registry will be offering tools for the marketing of domain names in the “.amsterdam” TLD realm to third parties with the aim of maximizing a rapid recognizability of the TLD.
By actively using the City’s own domain names as described above, but also highly stimulating (through marketing and agreements) the actual usage of the TLD, the Registry firmly believes the TLD will grow to be of high value to its registrants by means of actual public usage and search engine ranking.
The marketing strategy of the City of Amsterdam will be in line with the “I amsterdam” City Marketing strategy that already has a high recognizability in the City as it has been running for close to eight years now. Furthermore, the City aims to use the TLD for its services to the public. To that purpose a number of domain names will remain reserved for the exclusive use by the City of Amsterdam. Next to that a number of domain names will be reserved and issued in batches to parties with a specific interest in the entire batch of domain names in conjunction with the obligation for the registrant to actively use these domains in line with such specific interest. Thus, the Registry can –for a fairly limited but important range of domain names- guarantee valuable experiences for the public.
Examples of these ‘batches’ mentioned above would be “wonen.amsterdam”,“woningen.amsterdam”,“koopwoningen.amsterdam” and “huurwoningen.amsterdam”. By offering these four domain names for sale as a ‘batch’, with the conditions of active use within a short period after purchase (to be determined) we can achieve rapid public availability of these strategic domain names. On top of that, by auctioning these batches, we create a level playing field allowing all interested parties to acquire those names (with the conditions mentioned being a part of the sale), while at the same time offering the new owner the strategic advantage of having acquired a coherent set of domain names, which can be considered to be of premium strategic value. The Registry also believes that this mechanism will prevent domain name squatting for these important domain names. Domain name squatting could otherwise have a very negative effect on the actual use of and the sentiments surrounding the new TLD.
The Registry anticipates that“.amsterdam” will add to the current space more differentiation in the way that it provides registrants the opportunity to have a distinct new possibility to show⁄promote their brand, shop or business, identity or community via a TLD that is “not distant” in many ways. In terms of competition the Registry will provide a TLD that will add more consumer choice in a market dominated by the national “.nl” TLD. In terms of innovation the City of Amsterdam has traditionally been a national leader in providing IT Services to its citizens and will make all efforts so that the new TLD will reflect that ongoing innovation.
The Registryʹs vision is that as the internet has reached global coverage, the internet will enter the ‘capillary system’ of society, with a strong focus on local relevance. The TLD we apply for reflects that local relevance and should become the City’s platform for business and communication for all of its stakeholders. The Registryʹs mission is to know the local (digital) needs and how the new TLD can facilitate both the commercial, functional and emotional aspects of bringing the new TLD to the City and its stakeholders
The Registryʹs strategy is to collaborate with acknowledged leaders in Internet technologies and service providers to expand Internet capacity in an orderly manner through new charter TLDs.
There are already nearly 5 million “.nl” domain names, and the Netherlands has the highest domain density (number of domains per capita) in the world with currently 0.39 domains per capita and has one of the most extensive internet infrastructures in the world. “.amsterdam” ,being the TLD for the capital city of the Netherlands clearly expects to profit from the extremely high interest in registering and using domains and in the internet as a whole.
The City of Amsterdam has registered:
-18.000 enterprises with Amsterdam in their name
-400.000.nl domain names registered to addresses in the Amsterdam Region
-20.000 .nl domain names with Amsterdam in their name
-14.000 .nl domain names ending with “amsterdam”
-100’s of foundations and associations
These numbers reflect a clear indication of the quantitative potential for domain name registrations and use of the TLD at the same time. We are confident there’s far greater potential than the numbers in our business plans – addresses can become domain names (like http:⁄⁄rokin14.amsterdam), which has the potential to multiply the number of domain names sold in the business plan by an order of magnitude.
The Registry has in total a wide target audience. At the end of the first year the Registry estimates a potential of 7.000 domain names. By organizing a sunrise, landrush and open registration that will follow, all efforts are made to maximize the amount of domain names being bought and used at the moment of the launch. During sunrise trade names and trademark holders can be the first to claim their domain name. This will generate a positive sentiment, by guaranteeing that rightful prospective owners will not need to take reactive and costly actions, but are guaranteed the ownership of a domain name in a well established, well branded and positively acknowledged TLD, tied to one of the best known cities in the world.
During landrush the Registry will start selling specific generic domain names that are likely to encounter a higher than average level of interest for purchase. This in order to prevent the domain names to fall into the hands of domain name squatters, limiting the actual use of these important domain names.
After that, the remaining domain names will be issued on a first come first serve basis.
The Registry projects that the number for registrations in the new .Amsterdam TLD would reach at the start 3.500 in 2013, climbing to 7.000 at the start of 2014 and 14.000 at the start of 2015
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