Until last week, registering a national .es domain name had not been very inviting. In fact, because of the excessive fees and bureaucratic requirements, an .es domain name has been so inaccessible that Spain has sadly found itself far behind the rest of the European countries in the number of national domain names registered. Last January, Spain had 86,153 .es domains, while Germany (5.45 million), United Kingdom (3.87 million), Netherlands (1.33 million), and Italy (1 million) lead the pack.
In a move to promote the use of the national domain, the Spanish government has now made registration a whole lot easier. In fact, they hope that the decrease in obstacles, as well as a mammoth 71% drop in the fees, will boost registrations and reach the projected goal of 400,000 within the next four years.
The government will deliver registrations through Red.es, a government branch, with the help of Arsys, a private domain name registration company and will promote registrations through a special guide which will explain the new simplified conditions, and the exact dates when they will take effect.
7 June marks the start of the first phase, wherein all public and administrative agencies are now able to take advantage of the new process. The second transitory phase, between September and October, will open registration to commercial names, registered trademarks, denominations of origin, company names, foundations, associations and others with intellectual property rights.
All others will have to wait to register during the very last phase, which in all likelihood will culminate in a frenzy of registrations starting November, at a much more affordable price of 27.59 Euros. Of course, the price tag will be even more appealing, when registering through a domain name registration agency.
In order to register a .es domain name, the applicant will have to show that (s)he has ties to Spain. There are even plans to create a judicial system to resolve any conflicts that may arise, now that registering any .es domain is much more accessible. More information can be found by downloading the domain name registration guide (in Spanish) or by accessing Esnic, a branch of Red.es in charge of domain name registrations.
More exciting yet, is the .eu domain which will be available for registration starting this October. Like the .es domain, after going through the first two phases, full, unlimited registration will open to all residents of the European community, starting February of 2006.
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