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Is the New ".Tel" Domain More than Just a Pretty Web Interface to DNS?

Dan York

Is the new ".tel" domain launching today more than just a pretty web interface to DNS? Is it something really unique? Is it a new service that couldn't be easily replicated elsewhere?

In case you haven't been following the subject, a company called Telnic has launched a new top-level DNS domain ".tel" today. Today, December 3rd, is the launch of the "Sunrise" period where companies can (for a high price) obtain the ".tel" domain associated with their trademark.

The point of ".tel", though, is to not just be "yet-another-top-level-domain” but rather to be a global directory of information — with users/companies having control of their own information.

With the first part of the launch happening today there has been predictably been a good bit of coverage in the blogosphere. Danielle Belopotosky had a great piece up on the NY Times Bits blog, Techmeme has a flow of links to stories and I am sure more will be appearing.

I would, though, suggest people wanting to understand the goals of the service go back and listen to our Squawk Box conversation on September 9th with Telnic's Justin Hayward (www.justin.tel). The part about .tel starts at about the 17:50 minute mark of the podcast and literally did go on for about forty minutes. We put poor Justin through a bit of a wringer as he may not have realized he was walking into a conference call that included a bunch of DNS geeks. He presented his vision of how .tel would work and answered the many questions we threw at him. You can also watch the video of Telnic's DEMO Presentation where Justin is obviously pitching the .tel domain to the DEMO audience. (And yes, the Justin in the video is the same one who was on Squawk Box.)

While my friend Jonathan Jensen is quite enthusiastic about the .tel domain, I remain a bit troubled by a few aspects of it.

Read the rest of the article at Disruptive Telephony...

By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, Mobile, Telecom, Top-Level Domains

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I am really wondering why I can't jeroen  –  Dec 04, 2008 12:59 AM PST

I am really wondering why I can't just store that info under example.com; unless those applications only want to look inside .tel of course, and they just want to collect more structured data. Also there is this problem of 'privacy' and 'limiting who can query' this data. Next to of course them most very likely not supporting DNSSEC (which would allow a semi-AXFR again ;)

With all due respect r j  –  Jan 29, 2009 9:56 AM PST

My first post!! I've followed the tel domain story from the beginning. This is a fantastic article and brought up some issues that are well out of my experience. Having said that, the spam issue which is mentioned in the extended article is interesting. I've never heard of Dan York, but he seems to know his stuff. Having said that, he is one person. Telnic has how many employees developing .tel and how many employees researched possible spam issues? When you have an army vs. a handful of brains, I'm putting my money on the army. The army likely has considered and looked into every aspect of spam attacks. If they haven't done their homework, then agreed, telnic and dot tel deserves to fail. Nobody to blame except for themselves. Not to spam, but I've put together a Tel Domain FAQ website for those tel newbies out there. Lastly, yes the price is somewhat overpriced. Not so much for a business imo.

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