.London Priority Period ended on the 31st of July and was a bloody mess as the English say. In the priority period, that was kind of like a landrush with an extra twist, where anybody with a presence in London or an interest in London was able to apply for Dot London domain names.
There were several problems that I was able to detect and I wasn’t trying too hard:
- Many of the registrars listed in the official .London website were not offering .London domains in the priority period. A few were offering pre-orders for general availability and some were not offering .london domains at all.
- Some registrars were not offering premium .london domains. And if you tried to get any good .London domains you would know that most of the top domains were either reserved or premium priced.
- Some registrars were only accepting only one application per domain name. I contacted one registrar and it said that their system was not setup to accept more than one application and that they had to manually enter the application. It was too late when I got the reply from support.
- Some domains were shown as available to some registrars and not available to other registrars.
- The Mind and Machines registrar that is also handling the backend of .london was not really working as it should. I was trying to buy a priority domain for a client from London but I couldn’t create a contact for the customer and also charge my credit card using a different name and address.
- I don’t know who’s idea was to end the priority period on a Thursday but it was a bad one.
And I guess more problems are coming as allocation of names during the first phase depend on a priority ranking. The following is the priority ranking of customers:
- Those in the Trademark Clearinghouse
- Those having a London address AND a right to a name (e.g. it matches their business name)
- Those having a London address for any name
- Those without a presence in London
Where there is more than one application for a name those applicants will be validated by an external validation agent.I have no idea how the external agent will validate point #2. If, after validation, multiple applicants for the same domain name end up in the highest priority ranking then an auction process will be used to determine who will get the domain name.
I actually thought it went bloody well actually, or ‘Jolly good’ (another English saying for your benefit)! Everyone I know got all the names they wanted and thought it was an idiot proof slick process (though I guess you cant help everyone) . I’m sure the numbers of names registered will speak for themselves……..
I visited more than 25 registrars and it was not easy in 90% of them to apply for a priority .london domain.
The numbers registered are actually lower than what I expected. It is about 23,000 plus the contested/auction domains.