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Technology 9. September 2015
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On September 7, 2015, the launch phase of the new top-level domain .SWISS began with a planned start of operations in January 2016. The new domain is intended to enable Swiss companies to demonstrate their identification with the Swiss brand with their web presence and to benefit from the good reputation of “Swissness” even outside the country’s borders.

The domain extension .SWISS is not intended to replace the existing extension .CH, but to become a quality feature for Swiss companies in the medium term. Thus, each individual applicant will be examined during the allocation process in order to guarantee an exclusive group of holders.

In the current phase, registration is limited to company names and protected trademarks in Switzerland. For all others, registration will only be possible in 2016. Existing customers who meet the requirements can register directly through youngsolutions or through an accredited registrar. The annual subscription fee for a domain is expected to be CHF 120 (incl. VAT plus registration fee in the first year, subject to change). The comparatively high price is due to the increased administrative effort.

The allocation takes place in several phases. In the first registration phase, which runs from September 7 to November 9, 2015, companies and public organizations registered in the Swiss Commercial Register can apply if the designation meets one of the following criteria:

After examination of the applications, they will be published for 20 days on November 9. After objections and multiple applications have been processed, the first domain names can be switched on in December 2015. If a company does not fall into any of the above categories, it will have to wait until 2016 to register, because registration will not be open to all other legal entities until the start of operations on January 11, 2016. For individuals, registration will be possible from 2017 at the earliest.

The new .SWISS domain was released in 2012 by ICANN (the international registry for domain names on the Internet) and acquired by the Swiss Confederation to be used beneficially for the Swiss community and economy. As part of the 2012 domain release, other domains were also released, including the .zuerich extension, but these will only be available at a later date.

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