The .me extension has been in the works as reported by me here, here and here in the past. Well, it finally looks like the extension will be launched as domain registrars are preparing the sunrise and landrush periods.
The .me registry services will be provided by the Affilias Global Registry Services ( affilias.info ), a company that supports over 13 million domain name registrations worldwide.
Here is the official press release:
Podgorica, Montenegro. (April 9, 2008) –.ME Registry officials today announced the roll-out plan for .ME, the new domain name extension. .ME is expected to be utilized as both a personalized Web address and as a catchy business marketing tool around the world.
The registry will begin accepting .ME applications in May, for the start of what is known as the General Sunrise Period, a time when only trademark owners can apply. However, registrars who sign up before that time can start accepting Sunrise and Landrush applications and pre-registration requests, as soon as they’d like. As was the case with .ASIA, multiple parties will be allowed to submit applications for the same domain name. Domain names that receive more than one application will go to an auction process.
“We believe .ME has incredible potential for Internet users worldwide,” said Predag Lesic, the registry’s executive director. “Think about it, with a .ME domain, the Internet will, quite simply, be all about YOU. For the first time in Internet history, domain names are essentially personal.”
.ME domains, with their universal appeal, are expected to be in high demand. So some “premium” names – including verb-oriented domains, such as “Contact.ME,” “Drive.ME” or “Fly.ME,” – will be held back for auction after Open Registration.
The .ME Landrush is targeted to begin in early June, with Open Registration commencing on a first-come, first-served basis in mid-July. Two-year minimums are required on all .ME domain names registered during the Landrush and initial Open Registration periods.
The complete .ME roll-out schedule is as follows:
• May 6 to May 20: General Sunrise Period. During this time, anyone with a trademark is eligible to apply for a .ME domain.
• May 20 to June 6: Quiet Period. The registry will be closed to registrars. Sunrise auctions will begin for names that received multiple applications. .ME domain names that receive only one application will be awarded.
• June 6 to June 26: Landrush. This is the first opportunity for the public at large to apply. Anyone who doesn’t have a trademark, but is interested in a specific .ME domain, can apply during this period. This is also when Sunrise challenges begin.
• June 26 to July 15: Quiet Period. During this time, the registry is closed to registrars. Names for which there was only one application during the Landrush Period are allocated. Landrush auctions will begin for names that received multiple applications.
• July 17: Open Registration. Domain names are registered on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, or to apply to be a .ME Registrar, visit: www.Domain.ME