New York becomes first U.S. city to get unique Web domain

Casting .com, .net, and .org aside, New Yorkers will soon be able to get .nyc for their top-level domain names.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
New York City's information Web site for the .nyc Web address. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

It appears a new domain landgrab has begun, kicking off with New York City becoming the first place in the U.S. to get its own top-level domain: .nyc.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the news Tuesday, saying this new URL will greatly help residents and businesses establish themselves as true New Yorkers.

"Having our own unique, top-level domain -- .nyc -- puts New York City at the forefront of the digital landscape and creates new opportunities for our small businesses," Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. "They'll now be able to identify themselves as connected to New York City, one of the world's strongest and most prestigious brands."

Besides the name association, specific Web addresses also make it easier for people anywhere to find search results in particular locations.

New York's new domain was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in May. The organization has been working for years to expand generic top-level domains, like .com, .org, .net, and .edu, to more localized addresses for cities, countries, organizations, businesses, and more.

ICANN announced in February that it plans to roll out hundreds of new top-level domains this year, which will make for the largest growth of Internet addresses since the 1980s. Foreign languages were the first to start getting the new monikers, and brand names like .cadillac and regional addresses like .nyc are next in line.

New Yorkers will have to register for a .nyc domain, which comes with a list of rules, such as a physical address within the city limits. Registration for the Web address is expected to open in late 2013 and the cost for individuals and businesses is still being determined.

"Online search is increasingly driven not only by what a business does but also where it is located," said Ken Hansen, general manager for .nyc Registry Services for Neustar, which will operate .nyc on behalf of New York City. "A .nyc address will enable New Yorkers to easily find local businesses, services, and information online."